© AFP (Archiv)
Coalition talks and negotiations have been going on for more than four weeks now, and the patients' association has voiced its view on several issues.
The patients' association would like to see a health insurance reform to introduce a "tiers payant" system which would put an end to the current system, in which the patient pays the full amount charged by the medical service provider, and then files a claim with the insurer for reimbursement. The association would also support motions to improve services.
According to the patients' association, both issues should be taken up in the coalition deal.
René Pizzaferri, president of the patients' association, believes that the tiers payant system would benefit everybody.
In pharmacies, it is already a reality and the system has proven to be a useful instrument for surveillance and management. The tiers payant system would also make it easier on people who don't necessarily have the financial means to pay doctors up front.
Special charges are also an issue the patients' association would like to see resolved. Pizzaferri believes that the should be abolished or at least re-organised.
Special charges can be easily abused by doctors, for example when making appointments that suit the doctor's schedule rather than the patient.
The patients' association would also like to get rid of the class system in hospitals. The Esch-sur-Alzette hospital, which is currently under construction, is a great first step in that direction.
There will only be one-bed rooms and patients will not be asked to pay a special charge for this.
Another important point on the patients' association's agenda are dentist services. Currently, patients generally have to pay more than 50% out of their own pockets.
According to Pizzaferri, Luxembourg has some catching up to do in that aspect. While the patients' association doesn't advocate full coverage, they believe that there should be a price guideline because dentists can currently set their own prices and they vary greatly across practices.
Eye services could also be improved, especially when it comes to the reimbursement of laser treatments.