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Marilena Frâncu

14 Decembrie 2011
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Doctors appreciate the idea of the Ministry of Health of being on call outside the hospital buildings, but consider that the project which is yet to be submitted to public debate will not be easily put into practice.

Hard to be on call outside hospitals

marilena-francu

Photo: Agerpres.

The Ministry of Health wants doctors to stay home, but to be able to put themselves at the disposal of patients within maximum 20 minutes, if they need anything, and for this type of work they will receive 40 percent of the sums they receive when they are normally on call.

The project gives the hospitals in small towns the possibility to complete their number of doctors on call and assure the continuity of the medical services by home calls and emergency calls. It does not target the big hospitals, where there is a doctor on call 24 hours a day.

The state secretary of the Ministry of Health, Cristian Irimie, explained that the salaries of doctors would therefore increase.

"Until now doctors were allowed to be on home call and they were paid for each hour they spent in the hospital. According to the provisions of the new law, we will pay them an extra 40 percent of the sum they receive when they are normally on call, no matter if they are called or not to the hospital. Before this, a doctor was paid only if he was paged to come to the hospital, otherwise he wouldn’t get paid".

"This generally applies for small hospitals, which do not have a high emergency rate in 24 hours such as ophthalmology, ENT and other fields that do not require the doctors’ presence in the hospital like surgery, orthopaedics, anaesthesia or intensive-care medicine do", Cristian Irimie explained.

The measure is "malfunctioning"

Doctor Florin Chirculescu argues that the measure proposed by the authorities is good but malfunctioning, especially since there are only two specialists hired in most hospitals.

"This home call system was copied from some western countries where there is always a doctor specialised in a certain field who establishes with more doctors if an intervention is necessary or not".

"In fact the fundamental problem is that the state wants to compensate for the fact that there are no more doctors in Romania and that they are all leaving the country, but this will not work. I have worked in this system, of home calls".

"So, if there is no specialist in the hospital, you can be called God knows how many times a day to consult some patients for some diseases you are not specialised in", Florin Chirculescu declared.

Doctors will be on home call during the week, in the afternoon and during the night, as well as during legal holidays and week-ends for 24 hours.

The doctor on home call has the obligation to answer any call from the coordinator doctor, in maximum 20 minutes.

Translated by: Violeta Mavrodin
MA Student, MTTLC-English, Bucharest University

 


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