The Assembly does not vote on the resolution on health insurance in the absence of a quorum

The resolution on the state of health and health insurance was not voted on Thursday, as the Speaker of the Assembly, Glauk Konjufca, said that the vote will be held on another occasion. In the parliamentary session, called by the AAK, deputies of the ruling party and those of the opposition exchanged accusations against each other on the current state of the health sector, as well as on the non-existence of health insurance, which as an initiative started in 2014

In the absence of a quorum, the Assembly did not vote on Thursday the resolution on the state of health and health insurance in the session called by the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and which lasted about seven hours.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Glauk Konjufca, has said that the voting of this resolution will be held in another case, since on Thursday the number of deputies present in the hall was not sufficient.

Before that, the parliamentary debate on the issue was followed by accusations between the government and opposition MPs.

Shemsedin Dreshaj, deputy of AAK, criticized the Government as he said that Kosovo continues to remain the only country in the region and in Europe that does not have health insurance. He has emphasized that the implementation of insurance will not be possible until the end of the mandate of the current Government and has requested the commitment of the entire political spectrum for their implementation.

"The fact that after June of this year we enter the narrow period of parliamentary elections will also have a strong impact, so interest and commitment will decrease. The law on health insurance is expected to happen this year, but with the approval of this law, everything is not finished", he said.

Fierce debate about health insurance, the initiative for the implementation of which started in 2014, has been developed between the legislators of the Democratic Party (PDK) and the Minister of Health, Arben Vitia.

Rejecting the criticisms leveled at him for the lack of finalization of health insurance within the mandate, Vitia said that the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the state in which he found the health sector, were a challenge for this.

"In 2019, we, as a political entity, said that the Health Insurance Fund cannot be operationalized without 4 to 5 years of intensive work. I remember the other political entities, and their ministers, in the campaign, ignoring the fact that they were also in power and contributors to this situation, promised that they would make the fund operational in 18-24 months. There was even a competition about who was 18 and who was 24", he said.

PDK deputy, Bekim Haxhiu, reacted to Minister Vitia when he used the pandemic as an excuse.

"Every time you use the pandemic as an excuse, I must remind you that during the pandemic you were withdrawn from the post of Minister of Health to compete for the mayor of Pristina", said Haxhiu.

E Vitia has said that there will be actions towards the functionalization of the health insurance fund only after all the necessary measures are taken.

"Any failure in the effort to make the Fund functional, as it should, could bring catastrophic consequences and postponement of this important process. Therefore, there are no more experiments, no more actions without analysis, no more mockery of citizens, no more staggering expenditures of public money without any results, no more attempts to put their hands in the salaries of citizens without creating preconditions. Can there be delays..., it can, but only when we are sure that all measures have been taken, we will act", he said.

Deputy Haxhiu has also addressed other accusations to the minister. In addition to the flight of doctors from the University Clinical Center (QKUK), he also accused Minister Vitia that for the interests of private hospitals, the department that he leads has reduced intensive care beds.

"Today, intensive care has 21 functional beds, a reduction in capacity that benefits private clinics, because one night of intensive care in private is 1.000 euros, and that's why the beds have been reduced. Not only have they been reduced, but the best professionals who are in intensive care have also been fought. It is not by chance that we have the flight of anesthesiologists from this clinic. In 2020, there were 64 anesthesiology specialists, of which 22 left due to pressures and improper treatment," he declared.

But Minister Vitia qualified Haxhiu's claims as untrue.

"For the central intensive treatment, you know Mr. Haxhiu, you did it in the government when you were there, without technical approval. Why did Mr. Haxhiu, why was this done? You know what happens when it is done without technical approval. You also said something untrue. You said that 22 anesthesiologists, Mr. Haxhiu, 58 were in 2020, 50 are now. It was minus 22", said Vitia.

The Minister of Health has also argued with LDK deputy and former Minister of Health, Armend Zemaj, who has criticized that during the three years of the current government, there has been no positive movement in the field of health.

"In my career, I have never heard or seen or read that a Government can spend 75 percent of its time in governance without leaving any mark on health," said Zemaj.

But Vitia retorted, saying that even he was not remembered for results during his tenure as minister, but only for failures.

"Mr. Zemaj, you were a minister for 10 months. 3 things I remember from you are failures. Specializations, first. Second, you have reduced the budget for drugs and thirdly, you have done renderings by turning the emergency clinic into a covid clinic", said Vitia.