Even though most of the scheduled treatments were canceled due to the emergency situation, the medical bills presented to the Health Insurance Fund (EHIF) have not decreased significantly, Head of the EHIF Rain Laane said on ETV "Televisioon" on Wednesday.
Laane said it is a misunderstanding that because of the suspending of scheduled treatments, there is a lot of extra money for healthcare. "In health care, there are two ways with money: there is a little of it or there is no money whatsoever," Laane noted.
"When looking at the bills from March which the hospitals have presented to us, everybody who could have been written out of the schedule was written out, but the bills weren't smaller than usual."
Laane emphasized scheduled treatments have not stopped entirely. For example, chemotherapy and critical scheduled surgeries are continuing.
Laane considers limiting scheduled treatments right to ensure the readiness in hospitals because the number of people infected with the coronavirus was predicted to be much higher. "The question is in finding the right balance because people still need scheduled treatment."
Laane confirmed the EHIF is working towards opening health care to scheduled treatment step by step. Regarding emergency concerns, help is there. Laane mentioned dentists as an example, who are mainly entrepreneurs and with who they have an agreement that if they have the protective equipment, they can provide emergency dental care.
Laane said about 60 percent of the doctor's appointments which took place in March were remote appointments. At the same time, the overall number decreased.
The EHIF has a request for people to complete a 12-point questionnaire on the EHIF's Facebook page to provide feedback after a doctor's visit, especially if it has been a remote visit. "Accordingly, we can conclude how to better organize it in the future," Laane said.
Laane encouraged people to turn to a family doctor in case of health problems, who will then refer the specialist in an e-consultation if necessary. "People certainly don't have to suffer, they have to let us know that they have a concern and we try to solve it together," he emphasized.
Editor: Roberta Vaino