Lebanon Businessnews News

Hospitals limit NSSF patients' admission
Response to NSSF’s failure to apply new tariffs
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Hospitals have set a ceiling to the number of National Social Security Fund (NSSF) patients they are willing to admit. The Syndicate of Private Hospitals Owners said the decision was made in response to the failure of the NSSF to comply with the new hospitalization tariffs issued by the Cabinet in August.

Rola Zahar, deputy general ganager at the Mount Lebanon Hospital, and member of the syndicate said: “We will commit to the Syndicate’s decision, but without allowing it to negatively affect the lives of patients.”

The number of NSSF patients admitted differs from one hospital to another according to each hospital’s financial capacities and the budget allocated to it through its contract with the NSSF. Zahar said: “The hospital will continue to admit NSSF patients as much as it can financially tolerate. The priority will be for emergencies and critical cases.”

“Hospitals are not being able to purchase medicines, meet pharmaceutical needs, or even pay employees’ salaries,” Zahar said. She said low tariffs are not the only problem hospitals suffer
from: “The NSSF delays its payments to hospitals, which causes an additional financial burden.”

Zahar said: “The Ministry of Health, as well as all the public health cooperatives, including the Internal Security Forces, are applying the new tariff.” Hospitalization tariffs currently applied by the NSSF range from $18 to $23 per night, including all the patients’ needs except for medicine, medical tests, and doctors’ bills. The Cabinet raised this tariff to $60.

The NSSF initially agreed to raise tariffs for hospitals but only after raising the maximum salary bracket subject to the subscription to its sickness and maternity fund from $1,000 to $1,660. Subscriptions to the fund are calculated as a percentage of an employee’s salary.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Nov 16, 2012
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