Free healthcare zones in FYROM

Free healthcare zones in FYROM

Skopje, 11 February 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

Besides free economic zones, FYROM also opens free healthcare zones for the construction of hospitals by foreign investors or companies.

The parliament of the country has approved this project proposed by the Ministry of Health. Minister of Health, Nikola Todorov said that this concept aims at attracting foreign capital and introduce new healthcare methods and procedures.

“Besides the construction of hospitals, investors are also given the chance to invest on other projects for alternative medicine and rehabilitation centers. This concept of free healthcare zones is now implemented in countries which have developed healthcare systems”, Todorov said.

But this project has sparked political debates. The opposition has rejected the majority’s project.

SDSM lawmaker, Lidija Dimova said that these zones are being built for business and for the transplant of organs. According to Dimova, these zones will offer expensive healthcare services and poor people will not be able to receive services there.

“If a rich needs a kidney and in the country where he lives, there is a wait list for the transplant, he will find a health zone like this one in Macedonia to come and do his transplant”, said Lidija Dimova of LSDM.

Prof. Dr. Nikola Panovski, former official of the Ministry of Health, says that these zones could attract the best doctors who work in state clinics and according to him, this may put the healthcare system in the country at risk.

“This may seem as if the state is bringing foreign hospitals, in order to empty our hospitals from the best doctors”, Panovski declared.

Investors in these areas would be relieved of tax on personal earnings and tax on profit, while the medical equipment and construction materials would be relieved of VAT. These hospitals will offer patients only services which are not offered by the hospitals of the country./ibna/