Out of a total of € 161.2 million in moderator fees issued by Portuguese hospitals and health centers in 2018, they “only” charged € 6.5 million.
Equivalent to a rate of 96%, this is the lowest percentage in the last seven years, according to accounts made by JN this Monday, December 16, which compares with 92% in 2017 and 89% in 2016.
This reduction in data in the latest Health Care Access Report is explained by changes in debt collection and debt recovery mechanisms, such as the system that issues references for payment by ATM.
Health-sector moderation fees have returned to the political agenda following the announcement by Prime Minister António Costa that he will begin to meet the goal of eliminating this charge in primary care, as set out in the new Health Foundation Law.
Details will only be revealed in next year's state budget proposal, which the executive will deliver to parliament today, but the reduction will be progressive until the end of the legislature.
The total elimination of out-of-pocket fees in health centers – in medical and nursing consultations, at home and in revenue renewal – would represent a cut of almost € 90 million in the Health Budget, where these fees weigh about 1, 5% of the total.