Health documents phased out for 2008
January 01, 2008, Tuesday/ 18:04:00/ İSA YAZAR
Hospitals will no longer require health documents (prescription booklets) from retirees as of Jan. 1 to provide them with prescriptions.Beginning today identity cards will be enough for retired people - numbering around 4.5 million -- to obtain the necessary prescriptions from hospitals. The new regulation will also be applied to currently employed individuals who are under the umbrella of the Social Security Authority (SSK) and the Pension Fund (Emekli Sandığı). Ministry of Labor and Social Security Faruk Çelik held a press conference yesterday about the new system. He said the health carnets will be eliminated with the implementation of "smart cards." The pilot program for the smart card will begin in February 2008 in designated provinces and a full transition to the smart card is expected within two years. The new practice will facilitate health care procedures, saving time for both patients and health care providers. Çelik noted that another new health care practice involves hospital patients. He said the necessary medical equipment and drugs will be provided by hospitals. Previously these items were requested from the relatives of the patient. Çelik said this regulation was supposed to go into effect on Sept.15, 2007; however, it was delayed because the hospitals were not ready for the new system.