February 12, 2015

The culprits for Tamara Dimovska’s death to take responsibility!

The Helsinki Committee is taken aback by the news of the death of young Tamara Dimovska who spent nearly a year waiting for a positive answer from the Healthcare Security Fund in order to be treated abroad for severe spinal deformity. According to the opinion of the Helsinki Committee, little Tamara was a direct victim of the inefficient healthcare system and the Health Insurance Fund’s lack of will to give this case a positive outcome. For months back, the general public was kept informed about the case through the media in order to elicit a prompt reaction on the part of the Health Insurance Fund, considering the fact that the medical findings proved severe deterioration of her health, indicating the possibility of terminal outcome if she was not operated on in time.

Acting on this case, the Helsinki Committee submitted a request for information to the Health Insurance Fund and insisted to be given an explanation as to why the consultative opinion of  UCT – University Clinic of Traumatology, Orthopedic Diseases, Anesthesia, Reanimation and Intensive Treatment and the Emergency Center in Skopje, which stated that there is no possibility to provide adequate treatment in our healthcare institutions due to the complexity of the deformation and the peculiar nature of the proposed surgery, was  ignored, resulting in a negative decision on the request for Tamara’s treatment abroad. The documentation submitted to the Helsinki Committee proved that the Health Insurance Fund had contacted the hospitals specialized in surgical treatment in the country, yet none of them took on challenge to perform the surgery. The Helsinki Committee did not get an answer to the request for information, nor did it get the chance for a meeting with the officials in charge of the case in the Fund.

Bearing in mind the consequences of this approach on the part of the Fund and the Ministry of Health when there was a life of a child in question, the Helsinki Committee once again asks why did they promise to provide treatment for Tamara abroad, without ever doing anything about it later on? Taking into consideration Tamara’s deteriorated health, why was the procedure delayed resulting in no final positive answer? According to the Helsinki Committee there is no dilemma as to the responsibility of the Health Insurance Fund and the Ministry of Health with regards to this case. Therefore, in case the persons in charge of these institutions fail to take responsibility, the Helsinki Committee will file criminal charges against the manager and the members of the board of directors of the Health Insurance Fund for Unprincipled Operation within the Service, and in case there is consent on the part of the parents, a proposal will be submitted for criminal prosecution against the responsible officials in the Ministry of Health.

You can find more information (in Macedonian) about the case of Tamara Dimovska in the “Proces” show on Nova TV from 15 January 2015, where the legal advisor from the Helsinki Committee – Hristina Shulevska and Tamara’s mother talk about the bureaucratic labyrinths that the Dimovski family was pushed into.