Republic of Moldova: only 35 out of 1,000 MS patients receive reimbursed treatment07.04.2016
The MS Society in the Republic of Moldova (MSSM) organised a national roundtable debate on the topic of rehabilitation of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
The event was organised on 31 March in the capital Chisinau and was attented by patients, representatives of healthcare and employment authorities and institutions, healthcare practitioners and the pharmaceutical industry.
EMSP also supported the meeting by providing information on our employment-focused projects: Believe and Achieve (B&A), Paving the Path to Participation (PPP) and Ready for Work.
The key topics discussed during the roundtable and following workshops:
Accessibility – The participants identified the lack of wheelchair accessibility in public spaces, and also the lack of access to MRI scanning.
MS rehabilitation – MS patients need a national rehabilitation programme able to offer a number of free social, psychological and medical services as well as a dedicated MS rehabilitation centre.
Adapting legislation – MS patients asked for the disability certificate released by the corresponding national authority to be tailored to each specific case, mentioning the working capacity of each person living with MS. They also asked for a legal option for flexible working hours in an adapted working environment.
Employment – Representatives from the National Employment Agency have admitted that they do not posses sufficient information on the specificity of MS and that this has limited their capacity to brief potential employers on people with MS looking for work. On the upside, they offered a presentation on the necessary paperwork for people with disabilities to access the job market and related training programmes. They have however warned that there is currently no national policy to stimulate employers to recruit people with MS and other disabilities.
Access to treatment – Representatives of the Health Ministry have confirmed that the Government reimburses MS patients for only one drug, interferone. One young patient living in the rural area has complained that doctors in his area offer no treatment information. In fact, the auhorities have revealed that only 35 people living with MS in the Republic of Moldova have access to interferone, a mere 3 percent of the total estimated population.
The number of people currently living with MS in the Republic of Moldova is estimated at 1,000 and is believed to be growing.
The MS Society of the Republic of Moldova is one of EMSP’s most recent members, having joined in an associate capacity in 2015.