Na­tional phar­ma­care, our own eco­nomic res­cue pack­age

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

Bel­gium is a coun­try sit­u­ated in north­west Europe, and is sur­rounded by the Nether­lands (Hol­land), to the North; Ger­many Lux­em­bourg, to the East; France, to the South; and the English Chan­nel and the North Sea, to the West. The King­dom of Bel­gium has a pop­u­la­tion of ap­prox­i­mately 10.7 mil­lion.

All Bel­gians are el­i­gi­ble for their coun­try’s na­tional pub­lic or state-run drug pro­gram. Yes Bel­gians can re­ceive gov­ern­ment drug cov­er­age, re­gard­less of their age, dis­abil­ity, in­come sta­tus and so­cio-eco­nomic sta­tus. How­ever, the amount of cov­er­age de­pends on the in­di­vid­ual’s or fam­ily’s an­nual in­come and fam­ily size. Bel­gian Gov­ern­ment Health Of­fi­cial, Luc Ni­co­las ex­plains:“In Bel­gium, all cit­i­zens (work­ers and un­em­ployed) are cov­ered by a so­cial se­cu­rity scheme which guar­an­tees re­im­burse­ment of pre­scribed drugs: per­cent­age of re­im­burse­ment (0 - 100 per cent) de­pends on type of drugs and is de­cided upon by a spe­cific com­mis­sion at the fed­eral level.

One im­por­tant fea­ture in Bel­gium’s health care pro­grams, is that out-of-coun­try trav­el­ers may be el­i­gi­ble for full or par­tial health care and Drug cov­er­age in a Euro­pean Union state, like France, Ger­many, The Nether­lands, Ire­land, for ex­am­ple or in Switzer­land, Nor­way, Ice­land or Liecht­en­stein pro­vided they carry a EHIC ( Euro­pean Health In­sur­ance Card).

In or­der for a Bel­gian to re­ceive med­i­cal cov­er­age, they must carry an EHIC Card; stay in the coun­try on a tem­po­rary ba­sis, and the ill­ness/in­jury was un­planned or un­ex­pected and was treated as an in­pa­tient or out­pa­tient on an emer­gency ba­sis. The Euro­pean Health In­sur­ance Card does not cover any med­i­cal treat­ment that a Bel­gian res­i­dent has planned to un­dergo in an­other coun­try. In th­ese cases it is best that Bel­gians sign up for sup­ple­men­tary pri­vate health in­sur­ance cov­er­age.”

Closer to home, the re­cent fed­eral gov­ern­ment bud­get has ne­glected a na­tional drug cov­er­age plan. Re­ces­sion or no re­ces­sion, the Harper Con­ser­va­tive Gov­ern­ment should have im­ple­mented the long-awaited Na­tion- al Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Strat­egy rec­om­men­da­tions - and es­pe­cially pro­vid­ing na­tional phar­ma­care cov­er­age for those of us Cana­di­ans who have no other pub­lic or pri­vate drug cov­er­age, and those of us who have in­ad­e­quate cov­er­age! Given the fact, that 13 pro­vin­cial and Ter­ri­to­rial health min­is­ters, in 2006 unan­i­mously en­dorsed the NPS rec­om­men­da­tions, one would think the fed­eral gov­ern­ment would have granted us health con­sumers fac­ing high med­i­ca­tion costs, our own eco­nomic res­cue pack­age - na­tional phar­ma­care.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.