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Patient referral to KHCC ongoing — health ministry

By JT - Feb 17,2018 - Last updated at Feb 17,2018

AMMAN — The Health Ministry on Saturday said that including Jordanians above 60 years old in civil health insurance has provided them with "comprehensive and unlimited" health services, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Hatem Azrui, the ministry's spokesperson, said that including Jordanians aged 60 years old and above has given them the right to treatment at the ministry's hospitals, healthcare centres, and the hospitals of the Royal Medical Services (RMS) which have "good" medical services to treat cancer patients.

In cases where cancer treatment is not available at these hospitals, patients can be transferred to other centres including King Hussein Cancer Centre (KHCC) "regardless of the cost", Azruit said, noting that many of the patients who visited the ministry and the RMS's hospitals, have been transferred to KHCC.

Health Minister Mahmoud Sheyyab has recently stressed that patients' referral to  that KHCC for treatment "still exists and will continue" in response to previous reports that claimed the ministry halted financial coverage of cancer and other chronic diseases’ treatment to reduce expenses.

The spokesperson added that, if medications are not available at the hospital, they will be provided "without hesitation and at any price", adding that "claims about the ministry attempting to stop the government from including 60-years-old in the health insurance are not true".

There is cooperation among all health facilities in Jordan to provide the "best" services to patients with flexibility that allows the transfer of patients between all centres.

The Council of Ministers decided to include Jordanians over the age of 60 in the health insurance as of January 1, as part of the government's policy to expand the health insurance umbrella until a comprehensive health insurance agreement that covers all Jordanians is reached.

In its report on the laws for the state budget and the budgets of independent government units, the Lower House's Financial Committee's recommended that all 60- year-old Jordanians be covered by free health insurance, saying that the cost of such move would stand at around JD23 million. 

The government had included Jordanians over the age of 80 in the health insurance to later lower the age limit to 70 years old. Children below six years old are also included in the free healthcare umbrella. 

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