How our meeting with Maria changed the access to services for all uninsured pregnant women

March 28 2024

At the end of 2023, specialists from the team of For Our Children Foundation participated in an informational meeting with the aim of popularizing the changes in Ordinance No. 26 from 2007 of the Ministry of Health for the provision of obstetric care to women without health insurance. The more than a decade-awaited change to the regulation took effect on January 1, 2023, and states that uninsured pregnant women and their babies can have up to four examinations for free, receive an expanded package of laboratory tests and be treated up to twice in hospital. Until now, they were only entitled to one free examination and one test.

At the same time, Maria, a pregnant mother of an 11-year-old child with autism, turned to the foundation for help. She is in her forties, uninsured and with a risk pregnancy. Specialists from the foundation immediately recognised that Maria fully meets the requirements to gain access to the new package of services for uninsured pregnant women under Ordinance No. 26.

However, the reality turned out to be different – the two attempts to have the woman examined according to the regulation in two different hospitals were unsuccessful. After a meeting with the management of the medical centers, it became clear that the examinations were refused due to a technical problem – the software used by the two hospitals didn`t allow the registering of patients under this regulation.

The social worker who took over the case rolled up her sleeves and, in cooperation with other colleagues from For Our Children Foundation, sent a signal about what was happening to a number of institutions, including the NHIF, the Minister of Health, the Ombudsman, the Parliamentary Committee on Health and the Parliamentary committee on children, family, youth and sports in search of a solution. As a result, inspections were carried out in the hospitals and a change was made in the medical software. As of the end of 2023, the problem was resolved and the establishments can now fulfill the conditions under Ordinance No. 26 of the Ministry of Health.

In the meantime, because of this development of the situation, Maria was able to get the care package, was examined and gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Thanks to her and the efforts of our team, all uninsured pregnant women now have access to the free obstetric services they are entitled to under Ordinance No. 26.

The story was told by Serma Pramatarska, social worker at For Our Children Foundation.

*Photo for illustration purposes only.

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