General practitioners from all over Macedonia today protested in front of the Ministry of Health building and demanded an increase in the reimbursement per patient from the current 63 denars to 90 denars per patient.

They will not be examining patients today, and a multi-day strike will follow as of tomorrow.

Minister Bekim Sali also appeared at the protest, saying that the doctors’ requests were acceptable, but stressed that the budget for this year does not provide funds for raising the capitation. Sali handed out  certificates of appreciation to the doctors, but they were not accepted by the medical community.

All representatives of the associations know that we are working on a new model of financing primary health care. We are working on three possible models to change the way general practitioners are paid. I think today is a day to celebrate Health Day, not to protest, Sali said.

The president of the association of general practitioners Lilija Colakova Dervisova says that this protest is the last cry for salvation of the private general practitioners.

We left enough time for the groups to be formed, but they did not start working. We are asking for an increase in the capitation, which four years ago was increased to 63 denars per patient and since then we have not received any additional funds, and everything is more expensive, fuel, electricity, living costs, says Colakova-Dervisova.