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Stabilisation of the healthcare system and shortening of waiting times

Following the adoption of the Healthcare Emergency Measures Act in the summer, a rulebook and two additional decrees to help stabilise the healthcare system and shorten waiting times are due to be published today.

The Rules amending the rules on the referral of patients and the management of waiting lists slightly augments the provisions governing the referral of patients to healthcare services. According to the new rules, primary healthcare providers will have to make appointments by telephone throughout the healthcare centre’s opening hours. The Ministry of Health has already sent a letter to healthcare providers calling on them to promptly make the necessary changes to their work organisation. The Healthcare Emergency Measures Act established the legal basis for recruiting additional healthcare staff, including administrative staff who can make appointments and manage the waiting list and appointments book. Funding is provided by the state budget, so it is now down to healthcare providers to put the legal basis into practice through suitable work organisation.

The Decree determining allowances for special work conditions in municipalities with a lower level of development sets out the criteria applying to allowances for doctors at the primary level in less wealthy municipalities, while the Decree determining allowances for increased workload for hazardous work and the number of additional healthcare staff sets out more precise criteria for determining the size of allowances, and aims to ensure the stable operation of primary healthcare, at family health clinics, children’s and school clinics, women’s clinics, and dental practices for adults, young people and students. The allowance for increased workload is aimed not only at doctors, but also at other healthcare staff at these clinics.

Healthcare providers in the network of public healthcare services at the primary level are also entitled to an allowance (for wages and other employment earnings) for employing additional staff at the aforementioned clinics.