MD: Patients Covered by Universal Health Care Should Be CC'd Invoices ({{commentsTotal}})

Ivo Saarma
Ivo Saarma Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Arguing that the public is largely unaware of how much the state actually spends on their health, a prominent hospital director said that patients should at least get a copy of the invoice paid by insurance so they could appreciate the amounts at stake.   

"Maybe then a copayment of 100 euros for a 5,000-euro bill would not seem like so much, and there would not be the feeling that they had to pay 50 euros just to get an appointment with a doctor," Ivo Saarma, the director of the Fertilitas private hospital in Viimsi and a gynecologist by specialty, said in Postimees.

"I feel people have a shamelessly little appreciation for what the Estonian system offers, and it probably comes from ignorance."

"It's another matter whether the system is sustainable. Every year I hear slogans that we are cutting waits and increasing availability and this leads me to the question: at the expense of what are we doing so? To this point, we have received good ratings of our health care system from international experts."

"This has led to navel-gazing," he went on to say. "Actually, our rapid development is based on two phenomena: a cheap workforce, which is about to become a thing of the past, and assistance from Europe."