Prophylaxis costs less than treatment, says Eugen Nicolaescu, the leader of the National Liberal Party, who has recently spearheaded a draft law on this matter that has sparked heated debates in Bucharest.
Given that 2016 is an election year, politicians on each side of the
political spectrum are working hard to push new bills that might get them
additional votes. The Social Democratic Party and the National Liberal Party in
particular are at the center of several heated debates. Their latest bone of
contention is a bill that gives prophylaxis priority over the traditional
Prophylaxis is a must, says Liberal leader Eugen Nicolaescu,
claiming that the prophylaxis bill, already signed by 128 MPs from the National
Liberal Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Democratic Union of Ethnic
Hungarians in Romania and the group of ethnic minorities, has been drafted
based on studies proving that Romanians want programmes for medical
examination. Prophylaxis costs less than conventional treatment, while the
effects of such programmes would be visible within 10 years. Former Health
Minister Eugen Nicolaescu also said that under the new law the state would have
to earmark funds exclusively to prophylaxis.
Eugen Nicolaescu: "We have two types
of citizens in Romania: citizens with medical insurance and citizens without
medical insurance, but the state must provide for all its citizens,
irrespective of their insurance status. I've done the arithmetic: 10% of the
total funds allotted to healthcare, tantamount to 660 million euros, should
first cover the costs of a national prophylactic programme".
Prophylaxis, Minister Nicolaescu argues,
means to take action in order to identify and prevent health risks and improve
life quality. The prophylaxis bill quickly became a bone of contention among
political parties, due to a provision that forces people who refuse to take
part in prophylactic programmes to cover partially or fully cover the costs of
medical treatment on their own expense. In a message posted on his social
networking profile, Social-Democratic Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies
Valeriu Zgonea said that it was brutal to force people to pay for their own
treatment after having contributed to health insurance schemes all their lives.
Valeriu Zgonea said he had signed a
citizens' petition calling on MPs to vote against the Liberal-backed bill. On
behalf of the Group of Conservatives and Liberals from Romania (ALDE), deputy
Gratiela Gabrilescu in turn criticized the Liberals' initiative, which is now
publicly debated on the Chamber of Deputies' webpage. Political pundits say
that by the end of the debate the aforementioned provision might be eliminated
from the bill.