NHS prices will be reduced to what was planned, according to a new set of regulations approved by the cabinet yesterday.
The regulations which among others set the prices for NHS services, will be submitted to parliament in the next 48 hours, in order to be incorporated into the general NHS bill, Phileleftheros reported.
They also determine penalties for healthcare professionals who violate the system. In cases when a health officer does not apply the law or makes false statements, she/he will be imprisoned and/or fined, according to the regulations.
Contributions to the NHS will start on March, 1 2019. The system is expected to be fully operable on March 1, 2020.
GPs will be called to be incorporated in the system, starting from December 2018. NHS beneficiaries will be asked to register in January 2019.
Fees for NHS beneficiaries:
- GP visits and in-hospital care will be free of charge.
- Up to €6 per single visit to a specialised doctor.
- €10 per visit to other healthcare professionals (i.e. physiotherapists).
- €10 per visit to the Emergency Department (security officers, active reserve army soldiers are excluded).
- €6 per appointment with a nurse.
- €10 per diagnostic examination.
- €1 per package of medicine.
- €1 per lab examination (with a limit of €10, i.e. if a doctor asks for 12 examinations, the patient can only pay up to €10).
Persons excluded from any fees:
Soldiers, disabled veterans, prisoners of war of 1974 and their dependants, dependants on missing persons or people who have fallen in 1974, dependants of disabled persons, persons who suffer from severe mental disorder, persons with intellectual disabilities, resident of institutions for people with special needs, children under State care, convicts and arrested persons, uninsured elders, Greek citizens, residents of Agios Charalambos shelter and persons which have a hospital identity issued by the Patient Relief Committee.
Cap on fees:
A ceiling will be set on how much a NHS beneficiary can pay per year, regardless of how much they use the service.
- Persons who receive a minimum guaranteed income, low-paid pensioners and beneficiaries who are under 21 years of age can pay up to €75 per year.
- All other beneficiaries can pay up to €150 per year.
It should be noted that all prices contained in the new regulations are lower than those initially proposed. For example for the first two categories (persons who receive a minimum guaranteed income and low-paid pensioners) the fee cap was set at €100, while there was no cap for people under 21. The fee cap for all other beneficiaries was first set at €300.
Right of access to a specialised doctor:
According to the regulations, in order to visit a specialised doctor, NHS beneficiaries will have to be first referred by their GP. In this case the visit to a specialised doctor will be €6.
If beneficiaries choose to bypass this process and visit a specialised doctor directly, the fee will be €25.
Women who are over 15 years of age and want to visit a gynaecologist/obstetrician and soldiers who will have a certificate from a military doctor can access a specialised doctor without a GP referral.
How much will the NHS cost citizens:
First phase – June 1, 2019
Taxing for the first phase of the NHS will start being implemented on March 1, 2019 and from June 1, 2019 all beneficiaries will be able to access primary-care services such as doctor visits, buying medicine, laboratory and other examinations.
From March 1, taxpayers will have to contribute:
- Each employee will contribute 1.70% of his salary and each employer will contribute 1.85% of the salary of each employee for the NHS.
- Each self-employed person will contribute 2.55% of his/her earnings.
- Each pensioner will contribute 1.70% of his/her pension.
- Each state official official will contribute 1.70% of his/her salary.
- All other persons who have an income will contribute 1.70% of the amount of his income.
- A State Fixed Fund will contribute 1.65% of the salaries and pensions of all beneficiaries.
Second phase – March 1, 2020
NHS is expected to be fully operable in June 1, 2020, however increases in taxing will start from March 1, 2020. Beneficiaries will be able to access all healthcare services under the system.
Contributions will rise to:
- Each employee will contribute 2.65% of his salary and each employer will contribute 2.90% of the salary of each employee.
- Each self-employed person will contribute 4% of his/her earnings.
- Each pensioner will contribute 2.65% of his/her pension.
- Every state official will contribute 2.65% of his/her earnings.
- All other people who have an income will contribute 2.65% of it.
- A State Fixed Fund will contribute 4.55% of the earnings and pensions of all beneficiaries.