Professional Associations and Scientific Societies Advocate for Ethical Medical Fees on Health Day

2023-09-21 20:25:00

More than 30 professional associations and scientific societies disseminated a joint statement in which they affirm that there are “no reasons to celebrate” on Health Day, which is commemorated today. At the same time, they inform authorities, funders and the community that they will implement a minimum ethical medical fee of $6000 for consultations. The difference between the fee paid by the coverage and that minimum value will be paid by the patient.

“It is not coinsurance. It is not an additional. It is not a co-payment – ​​point out the 33 signatory entities. This difference is a ‘non-refundable complementary bonus’. Said value will be adjustable bimonthly with the inflation index throughout the national territory as a reference.”

The demand from professionals for updating the value of fees has escalated in recent months, as has been published THE NATION. The main argument is that those specialties in which daily practice depends on a large number of imported inputs, as pathologists or biochemists proposedFor example, what they perceive does not allow them to face the costs of those materials with price lists that are updated in dollars.

“This September 21, on Health Day, doctors in the Argentine Republic have no reason to celebrate. We are going through a sad reality: a crisis that has led Medical fees at lowest level in history“, they affirm in a statement that, for the first time, the main associations, federations and scientific societies of the country are signing. The Argentine Council of Ophthalmology, the Argentine federations of Radiology and Cardiology and the Argentine societies of Radiology, General Internal Medicine and Ultrasonography in Medicine and Biology also expressed their support for the statement.

The medical consultation “is a fundamental act in which we attend to the needs of our patients, diagnose diseases and work on their recovery,” they continue. It is also the act through which we receive a professional fee that allows us to live with dignity. Traditionally, this service was valued by health funders, but we have never had the ability to set its value ourselves. We professionals were never able to determine how much we should receive for this work and when we should receive it.”

One of the signatory institutions is the Argentine Society of Cardiology (SAC). “The fees they are paying us range between $1,500 and 3,500 for most providers. When you subtract around 40% necessary to pay the expenses inherent to maintaining the office, the value is reduced to between $1,000 and $2,500, which is detrimental to the quality of patient care and professional training,” he said. Claudio Majulpresident of the SAC in dialogue with THE NATION. “We understand the current situation of the country and we are not, therefore, asking for exorbitant fees because we are part of the population.”

The collection of the complementary bonus can be made effective through the dissemination of the decision adopted by the professional associations after meetings in recent weeks with the institutions’ lawyers. But, as explained by a doctor who participated in these deliberations, next October 1 will be considered as a temporary window for professionals and patients to organize. When requesting an appointment, patients may ask how much the bonus will be according to the coverage plan they have.

Omar Latino is president of the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Buenos Aires (Sogiba), which adhered to the definition of a minimum ethical value of consultation that professionals can apply. “The fees are very low. We know the situation that the country is going through because we are also going through it – he pointed out in dialogue with this medium -. This minimum ethical fee that we established is non-refundable for the coverage that patients have and it is the responsibility of each professional to apply it. It will not be a reason not to care for those who need it and no patient will be left without medical attention.”

Latino specified that the value “is defined in a logic that takes into account the reality in the country,” while insisting that the entities that bring together medical professionals have the need to “be participants” in the fees. that they will charge.

“The fact that we are receiving them up to four months after providing assistance only makes our reality more difficult,” the specialist continued. Until now, in the meetings we had with the coverage, they considered that what they pay us is what they can: that is three times below what we consider a minimum ethical value. Always receiving the same response, Sogiba decided to join the call for a group of scientific societies that bring together different specialties to inform society of the situation faced by doctors who provide service to the community through medical coverage. .”

As the representatives of the different specialties have been stating in dialogue with this medium, this loss of the value of the consultation has been dragging on for years until it is located “in one of the lowest in the region”, unlike what happened historically. THE NATION gave an account of professionals with specialties and years of training who cross to other countries or opt for more profitable practices in other disciplines to improve their salaries in the face of the crisis that the Argentine health system is going through and to the detriment of the availability of these skills for the attention of the population.

“In recent months – the entities warn – this situation has worsened and there is a delay in the payment of fees between two and six months after providing our services. Unsustainable for health professionals today with the existing high inflationary level. Today, we doctors say: enough! From this moment on, the price of the service, the value of our fees will be in the hands of the doctors themselves, through our associations, chambers, councils, federations and medical societies that represent us.” It is the model that, until now, was applied by the Association of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Resuscitation, better known as “triple A”.

The statement, which is addressed to “the government authorities, the Ministry of Health, the Superintendence of Health Services, to all health financiers and managers, including social works, prepaid medicine companies, insurance, sanatoriums, clinics, offices, including all areas where medical consultations and practices are carried out”, in addition to “the entire Argentine population”, describes how and from when professionals will begin to receive that minimum fee common to all specialties.

“It is implemented from the present [comunicación] and minimum ethical value of the medical consultation and the ‘minimum ethical medical fee’ that we have arrived at to maintain a decent federal tariff floor is $6000 –define–. The difference between what we receive from the system (managers, social works, prepayments, sanatoriums, clinics, etc.) as the value of the consultation and said ‘minimum ethical medical fee’ must be paid by the patient in the consultation” as a complementary bonus and non-refundable. In this way, this charge would not be framed in the concept of coinsurance, additional or co-payment that, for example, prepaid medicine companies have been rejecting with the argument that it would be outside what was agreed upon by contract and the benefit system, as they responded. yesterday to THE NATION regarding the claim of the biochemists.

At the same time, as they anticipate, this federal minimum value will be adjusted every two months according to inflation in the country. The signatory entities, representing the doctors of each specialty, endorse its application publicly from the statement and undertake to adopt “measures to support and support all specialist doctors who could be harmed by implementing the minimum ethical medical fee.” with unfair and arbitrary measures by the health system.” The decision, they maintain, is “joint, firm and irrevocable.”

Conocé The Trust Project
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