If you think you are infected with Covid-19, do not rush to say goodbye to money. It turns out that the PCR or rapid test for coronavirus can be done for free by turning to a family doctor (of course, this may take longer than in private laboratories). Also, when treated in a hospital, the patient can get free medicine that has been prescribed to them, if they are included in the list determined by the Cabinet (spoiler: they not always are). However, X-ray of the lungs it should already be free, and the hospital then receives money for it in the form of compensation from the National Health Insurance Fund.
The list of drugs and medical services for patients with coronavirus or suspection of Covid-19 and checking the availability of tablets in the hospital will be discussed further.
Who is eligible for the free test?
On Monday, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine published an explanation on Facebook that PCR testing for coronavirus can be done for free, and not only to those who have a suspicion. So these are the categories of people eligible for free PCR testing:
- people with possible Covid-19 infection in order to establish a diagnosis;
- persons with signs of other SARS;
- patients with pneumonia (or its symptoms) regardless of whether they are treated on an outpatient basis (home treatment) are in hospitals;
- contact persons at the appearance of symptoms that do not exclude the coronavirus.
The first three categories of PCR are prescribed provided that they have not been screened with a rapid test for antigen.
You can get a referral for free testing from a family doctor (they are obliged to do this). If they refuse, contact the Ministry of Health hotline (0 800 60 20 19).
Also, according to the order, free ELISA or PCR testing is provided to health professionals, who must be examined every 2 weeks. The medical institution where they work is responsible for this.
What else is free at the hospital?
There is a so-called Covid package on "readiness to respond to infectious diseases" on the NSZU site. According to the site, the condition for concluding an agreement between the National Health Insurance Fund and the hospital is providing it with funds for the purchase of medicines by the hospital. The tariff for calculating compensation also includes salary, food (for the hospital) and the work of the economic part.
The hospital undertakes to conduct inpatients with suspicion or established coronavirus the following tests (free for the patient):
- complete clinical blood test;
- determination of blood group and rhesus factor;
- biochemical analysis of blood (total protein, C-reactive alpha-amylase protein, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), bilirubin and its fractions (total, direct, indirect), creatinine, urea, uric acid, albumin, lactic acid, electrolytes, troponin, ferritin);
- coagulation hemostasis (thrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), international normalized ratio (INR), D-dimer);
- whole blood or serum glucose;
- acetone in urine;
- bacteriological testing;
- serological tests by agglutination, precipitation, etc. (RA, RNGA, RPNG, RA, RSK, RN) on common pathogens of infectious diseases in accordance with the clinical picture;
- screening and confirmatory ELISA and/or rapid tests;
- other laboratory tests according to the needs of patients.
Another requirement is to conduct lung X-rays, anesthesia, oxygen support, i.e. all this for inpatients is free, the hospital already receives funds from the National Health Insurance Fund.
Medicine provided by the National protocol treatment of coronavirus infection is included in the tariff, after which NSZU pays for services of medical institutions. Medicines are added to the list by the Cabinet of Ministers (Resolution № 225). The protocol is a recommendation, but the drugs from it are not suitable for everyone and you need to be prepared for the fact that you will have to look for options among the drugs that are not in the protocol. Patients have to buy replacement themselves in private pharmacies.
However, this is in theory. The situation in reality may be different, because not everyone has enough budget funds. For example, import of Remdesivir doses to Odesa region is limited, and the amount is not enough for all patients.In such a situation, the medical institution has two options: to buy medicines or give the patient's relatives a list of necessary medicines for several hundred dollars, which is usually the case. If the disease is severe, treatment will be much more expensive.
How to check the availability of drugs
- Medicines from the National List. Medical institutions independently purchase medicines that are included in the National list of basic medicines (427 overall). Patients in hospitals have the right to receive free medicines from the National List for the entire period of treatment, explains NSZU. When receiving a doctor's prescription, it is advisable to ask which of the drugs are included in the National List. You can read the list of drugs HERE (ibuprofen and paracetamol are on the list as well) or in the mobile application Drug Control.
- "YE LIKY" (There is medicine). Checking the availability of drugs on another useful resource, the site project "YE LIKY" (There is medicine). It is very easy to track all the medications in your hospital, from simple boot covers and ibuprofen to coronavirus medications such as dexamethasone. If you have medicine in the hospital, you do not need to buy it.