Patients' rights
What should be included in the request to the Commission for Rare Diseases of the RFZO for the treatment of a diagnosed rare disease in the Republic of Serbia?

The request should contain a certified health card, original consular decision, photocopy of medical documentation, signed informed consent of the patient (parent or guardian).

The right of the insured person to be referred for treatment abroad is decided by the Commission for referral for treatment abroad, appointed by the Board of Directors of the RFZO (passes a decision on referral for treatment). The medical commission for referrals for treatment abroad issues an expert report, assessment and opinion (at least once every six months it considers all requests).

Which law regulates the diagnosis of rare genetic diseases/anomalies and prenatal diagnosis that cannot be diagnosed in Serbia?

Zoja’s Law – The Law on Prevention and Diagnosis of Genetic Diseases, Genetically Determined Anomalies and Rare Diseases defines the rights, obligations and responsibilities of participants in medical procedures for the prevention and diagnosis of hereditary diseases, genetically determined anomalies and rare diseases, for the purpose of protecting human health and dignity.

What does Zoja's Law include?

Zoja’s Law includes:

– If after 6 months it is not possible to establish a diagnosis in Serbia, the doctor is obliged to send a blood or tissue sample to a foreign health institution for a more detailed analysis

-prenatal diagnosis for families with a pathological gene,

– pre-implantation diagnostics,

-testing of family members who are potential carriers of the pathological gene

Important laws:

– Law on Health Care (ZZZ)

– Law on Health Insurance (ZZO)

– Law on prevention and diagnosis of genetic diseases, genetically conditioned anomalies and rare diseases

– Law on patients’ rights

The right to a diagnosis

The right to a diagnosis is an expression of the basic rights of the patient to know his health condition and decide for himself. The patient has the right to a diagnosis when it is possible and available according to the state of development of biomedical and technological knowledge, and in accordance with the rules of the medical profession and with due care in handling.

Diagnosis implies the right to a provisional or working diagnosis in case of serious difficulties or unclear conditions, as well as the right of the patient to seek early diagnosis, which is a priority

Protection of patients' rights in Serbia

In case patients’ rights are threatened:

– the complaint is submitted to the manager of the work process (superintendent, director)

– complaint to the adviser for the protection of patient’s rights in the local self-government (municipality or city)

– objection to the Health Council in the local self-government where he is being treated / and if he is dissatisfied with the actions of the local councillor

– report to the health inspection at the Ministry of Health

– complaint to the regional branch or the Republic Health Insurance Fund, if the dispute is about the law in that area

From which fund are funds provided for the treatment of patients with certain types of rare diseases?

– In the budget of the Republic of Serbia, funds are provided for the treatment of patients suffering from certain types of rare diseases, provided that the Republic Fund cannot provide a sufficient amount of funds for the treatment of those diseases.

– For each calendar year, the government, on the proposal of the minister, adopts an act that determines the priorities for the treatment of patients with certain types of rare diseases, as well as other issues of importance for the treatment of patients with rare diseases for which funds are provided in the budget of the Republic of Serbia.

Guidelines on the conditions and manner of sending insured persons for treatment abroad

An insured person may be granted treatment abroad at the expense of compulsory health insurance funds for the treatment of diseases, conditions or injuries that cannot be successfully treated in the Republic of Serbia, and in the country to which the insured person is sent there is a possibility for successful treatment of that disease, condition or injury . Treatment abroad includes outpatient-polyclinic and inpatient treatment. In cases where the insured person is not referred for treatment in a foreign health institution in accordance with the regulations, he does not have the right to be referred for a control examination from the funds of the mandatory health insurance. An insured person who has performed a diagnostic procedure, i.e. who has been diagnosed in a foreign health institution, and whose diagnostic procedure, i.e. the establishment of a diagnosis has not been approved in accordance with the regulations, is not entitled to compensation for the costs of performing the diagnosis from the funds of the mandatory health insurance.

Procedure for exercising the right to someone else's care and assistance (TNP)

This right is not conditioned by the level of other incomes, nor by a specific diagnosis, but by the general state of health of the person submitting the request, i.e. his functionality and ability to perform basic life activities – the commission assesses

– The procedure is initiated upon request, the form, medical documentation, specialist doctor’s report and a note that TNP is necessary are submitted to the Center for Social Work (or PIO, if you are e.g. a pensioner)

– Procedure: CSW will forward the request with complete documentation to the competent PIO fund branch for expert evaluation. You receive a call from the PIO fund (by phone or mail), which date and time you should come in for an expert opinion. Then the Commission that performed the expert report submits its assessment, findings and opinion to the Center. Based on that finding, the Center for Social Work makes a decision, which you can appeal if you are dissatisfied.

– The minister responsible for social protection decides on the appeal against the decision of the CSW on the right to cash social assistance, the right to allowance for assistance and care of another person and increased allowance for assistance and care of another person.

– The appeal against the decision of the center for social work from the territory of the AP Vojvodina on the right to cash social assistance, the right to basic/increased social security benefits is decided by the provincial administrative body responsible for social protection.

– The city administration of the city of Belgrade decides on the appeal against the decision of the center for social work from the territory of the city of Belgrade on the right to cash social assistance and the right to the basic/increased tnp.

– The appeal does not delay the execution of the first-instance decision.

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