The State System
The basic package of free healthcare is limited to emergency assistance and treatment and treatment for acute illness. However, different medical organisations take varied views on what procedures are offered and where. Financing of Moldovan healthcare is predominantly done through taxation, but there are pilot plans in operation whereby employers pay a flat rate contribution to a healthcare fund for each person they employ. There is no option for opting out of the state scheme. Vulnerable groups like retired citizens, the disabled or those who have lost the income from the breadwinner have their contributions paid by the state, as long as long as there are no other possible means of making the contribution i.e. no other member of the family can afford to pay the contribution for them. When healthcare contributions are paid by the state, the beneficiary only receives a minimal amount of healthcare.
In addition to taxation, one third of healthcare finance comes from out-of-pocket payments from the patient. Citizens have to pay for prescription medicine (children under five are exempt) and medical treatments deemed nonessential, like cosmetic surgery, dental care, massage and some laboratory investigations. Patients also make under-the-table payments to doctors, consultants and nursing staff. Such payments may be in the form of a gift or actual monetary payments.