At the initiative of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, the Autonomous Women's Center submitted a proposal at the end of June 2022 for the Republic Health Insurance Fund (RHIF) to increase the number of oral contraceptives on the A list (issued at the expense of health insurance), which is in line with the recommendations CEDAW Committee to the Republic of Serbia from 2019. At the beginning of September, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality submitted an initiative to amend the Rulebook on the list of medicines that are prescribed and issued at the expense of compulsory health insurance funds. We have to wait for the reaction of RHIF.
In its proposal, the AWC pointed to unfavorable data on the state of women’s sexual and reproductive rights and health, including young women and women from multiply marginalized social groups, which refer to the use of contraceptives, but also to the small number of available prescription drugs (which are issued at the expense of health insurance). It was proposed to include a larger number of oral contraceptives on the A list (at least all the products from the A1 list), as well as two emergency contraceptives. Also, the initial proposal was expanded with the proposal to exempt young women (ages 15 to 18) from participation in a fixed amount (due to financial dependence on parents), as well as to consider the possibility of covering the costs of termination of pregnancy in health institutions with health insurance (as stated in the CEDAW Committee recommendation 38 (a) of 2019).
The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, in accordance with her competences, submitted the Initiative for Amendments to the Rulebook on the list of medicines prescribed and issued at the charge of Mandatory Health Insurance Funds, referring to the Public Health Strategy in the Republic of Serbia for the period 2018-2026, as well as the National Program for the Preservation and Improvement of Sexual and Reproductive Health of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia, adopted in 2017. She supported the two basic proposals of the AWC, but not the additional proposals regarding the exemption of young women from participation and the coverage of pregnancy termination interventions from health insurance funds.
For the time being, we are waiting for a response from the Republic Health Insurance Fund.
You can see the AWC proposal HERE.
You can see the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality initiative HERE.