Referral doctors from 1st January
The association of doctors and dentists (AMMD) has signed an agreement with the National Health Fund (CNS) regarding the introduction of “referral doctors” for patients. Everything is ready for implementation on 1 January, just one of the pillars of the health system reform adopted in mid-December 2010.
The free choice of doctor by the patient is guaranteed, said Minister Mars Di Bartolomeo. "There is no obligation to take a referral doctor but it is in the interest of the insured." The change for what has been called the “family doctor” will mean they still hold a supervisory role for their patient’s health with whom they enter into kind of contract. However the patient may be offered a referral doctor, with all diagnostics being reported back to the family doctor.
This change is seen as important in quickly determining the causes of illness and determining treatment. However it is also seen as a method of targeting prevention.
It remains to be seen whether the country’s residents will be willing to adopt such an approach to their health treatment. Its success must guarantee patients that their medical records remain confidential.