Reducing healthcare cost
July 5, 2009
National Alliance Senator George Pantophlet attended his first meetings of the Central committee of Parliament last Wednesday July 1, 2009. The Organization of the Owners of Pharmacies (Vereniging van Apothekers Eigenaren) submitted a letter to Parliament requesting a meeting on the implementation of the new draft law proposal to set the tariff for prescription medication or In Dutch (Receptregelvergoeding) RRV at Nafl. 9,00.
The Organization of the Owners of Pharmacies stated that after doing an initial and simple research it resulted that based on their calculations of the 28 pharmacies on Curacao the amount was Nafl.12,81. And presently an inventory of the figures from January to April 2009 indicates that the approximate amount is above Nafl. 14.00. In other words the reduction of the RRV prescription subsidy (Receptregelvergoeding) will be disastrous for the pharmacies. To explain the meaning of de receptregelvergoeding is as follows; the pharmacies are paid a fee or tariff for the work they do in giving medication to patience. For this they receive a subsidy per prescription. This amount however is not enough to cover the cost of the pharmacy and therefore they are allowed to keep the discount afforded to them when purchasing medication from the wholesalers. In this manner along with the prescription subsidy and the purchase advantages (discounts) to meet their costs and of course make a profit. They expressed their willingness to work together with government. The National alliance senator expressed his understanding for their concerns but wanted to know if complaints by various pensioners that they were being charged almost double for their medication because they held the fzog card were true. The senator also wanted to know if the pharmacies were allowed to purchase medication from countries such as the U.S., Canada France and others. On the first question the response was that they knew of no such practice and on the matter of purchasing medications the organization of the owners of pharmacies said that they were restricted by law to only purchase from particular wholesalers. What I would like to know if in the Netherlands the pharmacies are also restricted. A reality is that healthcare costs will increase as the population starts to age. At present we are also dealing with the problem of obesity which is a serious matter. After the meeting the senator held a brief discussion with one of the presenters who said that attempts have been made to get all pharmacies to purchase in bulk which would cut cost but this has proven so far to be unsuccessful. The senator said that the cost of healthcare worldwide is on the increase and the Netherlands Antilles and St. Maarten are not exempted. This means that there is a danger of premiums being increased and as appeared in an article in the US media employers are planning to pass this cost on to the employees. To reduce healthcare costs we will need all stakeholders to get seriously involve in healthcare cost reduction. The senator said that stringent control regulations might have to be implemented.