Since 30 December 2014, the Fier District Court has decided to suspend the HCDD physicians from exercising their duty. More than 5 thousand disabled people are waiting to get the decision of the commission in order to benefit the invalidity payment, at a time that the Social Service and the Social Insurance institutions pass the responsibility of the identified abuses to each other.
By Arben Velo
Tens of citizens wait every day in front of the HCDD office in Fier to bring to the commission their relatives having different health problems. But, despite the emergence that they may have to pass in the commission, since the beginning of this year none of them was offered this service, as the physicians of the Fier Health Commission on Defining the Disability (HCDD) have been suspended from their duty. Tens of citizens are waiting in the doors of the building where functions HCDD, near to the Regional Directorate of Social Insurance, but also to the only office of the Social Service. Kujtim Muçaj is one of them. He is from Cakran commune and he is looking to bring in the commission the daughter in law that suffers from schizophrenia “It is many times that I have come here. I want to bring to the commission my son’s wife. They say that there are no physicians. Endless wanderings in such a cold. I do not know what they will do. Aren’t there other physicians to substitute them?, expresses Muçaj.
Another citizen says that she is waiting since November to bring her daughter to the commission. “My daughter was hurt by the train when she was 2 years old. Now she is 41 years and lives only with the payment she benefits from the HCDD. It is now since November that I have handed the documents to be assessed by the commission. They say me to wait because there are no physicians to summon the commission. I am obliged to wait, but until when? My daughter is ill and she needs the medicines”, admits N.Velçani. There are tens of other citizens waiting in the queue for the commission and nobody, despite the notification letters in the outside premises of the building, gives any answer to them when there will be summoned the physicians’ commission again.
Citizens that ask information for the commission of HCDD.
On 30 December 2014, the Fier District Court has decided on the suspense of the Health Commission on the Definition of the Disabled People (HCDDP) of the Regional Directorate of the Social Insurance in Fier. In the decisions of the First Instance Court of Fier district are involved in the suspension measure eight physicians of this commission, the later being recognized as the HCDDP. With eight separate decisions issued on 30 December last year, the Fier District Court has decided the suspension from exercise of duty for the physician Jovan Prifti, the physician of the expertise of the Social Service, Arnisa Sulejmani, the physician Flamur Kadiu, who has been substituted with Musa Skenderaj. The physicians Ejona Shaska (Zilja), Novruz Caushaj, Merita Alimadhi, Ervin Llakatura, Andrea Dollaku are the five other physicians of the Fier HCDDP who have also been suspended from their duty with a court decision. The decisions of the Court for the physicians of the HCDDP have been communicated to the Regional Directorate of Social Insurance, at a time that a penal proceeding has started towards the above mentioned physicians for the penal case of “misuse of duty”.
The decision on the suspension of the Fier HCDDP is given by the court through the judge Arta Duka, the day before the last by end of 2014. Everything started with the submission of the legal request from the side of the accuser’s institution. The Fier prosecution office has registered the penal process No. 884 in 2013 for the penal case of misuse of duty given in the article 248 of the Penal Code. The process of investigation from the Fier Prosecutor’s office started after the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth has opened the case for the HCDD, where the physicians Roeld Zogaj, Jovan Prifti, Arnisa Sulejmani, Flamur Kadiu, Ejona Shaska (Zilja), Novruz Caushaj, Merita Alimadhi, Ervin Llakatura, Andrea Dollaku were members of it and the members of Fier KML, Anila Peqini, Novruz Caushaj, Dashamir Yzeiri and the social administrators of Cakran commune in Fier district.
Facsimile of the Court decision that orders the suspense of the HCDDP’s physicians
The Prosecution office started the investigations after a control exercised by the Tirana State Social Service in Cakran commune, on the frame of exercising public functions and implementation of the legislation, on the benefit of the invalidity payment in this commune for the period October 2012- October 2013. The control team took into consideration the files of the invalidity payment beneficiaries. At the end of this checking there were made evident a series of violations resulting from not properly carrying out the duty. Hence, there were found discrepancies in the documentation such as labour certification, military service certification in 21 beneficiaries’ files. After the verifications done by the Tirana supreme HCDDP has resulted that these inconsistencies are not due to the negligence of the commission but purposely left unidentified at a time that they result to be employed or to have carried out the military service. At the same time there have been identified discrepancies on the formal aspect such as lack of signatures of the physicians in some of the files and at the same time people being treated violating the regulation dated 30.05.2005 “For the organization, rights, duties and functioning of HCDDP” in five files.
Out of the control carried out in Cakran commune in five other cases were found beneficiaries of the invalidity payment that had in their files documents verifying their working years in violation to the point no. 1 of the Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 618, date 07.09.2006. In four cases were found some inconsistencies related to the administration of the school certifications used to pay back the obligations and the notarized copy of the diploma. Furthermore, there results that in 10 cases the form that directs the beneficiary to the HCDDP was released against the regulation dated on 30.05.2005, because it was issued by the policlinic. Whereas, in at least 15 cases resulted deviations from the health criteria used for the evaluation. As a result of these violations, many people have unfairly benefited considerable amounts of money harming the legal interest of the state. From the side of the Tirana supreme HCDDP has been carried out the re-commissioning of the people resulting to have performed violations, where at least 21 of them have been expelled from the scheme of the invalidity payment. It has resulted that this payment was done in violation to the regulation and the health criteria on the evaluation done by the HCDDP.
The physicians, former members of the Fier HCDDP, have not accepted to comment the decisions of the court for their suspense from the duty. Only the physician Novruz Caushaj, being contacted by investigim.al expressed that he together with his other colleagues of the commission feel insulted by the decision of the court. “We are quiet and do not comment any word related to this rumour. We are exercising our duty as physicians to the Fier Hospital and we are coldblooded waiting the development of the events. We have performed our duty as physicians and nothing more than that”, admits Caushaj.
The Director of the Fier Social Service, Alba Stefa, admits that she has not been informed about the decision of the First Instance Court of Fier on regard to the HCDDP physicians, yet. “No official court decision on the suspension of the physicians carrying out their duty to the HCDDP has arrived to me. I was informed on this lack by the physician of the Social State and the verbal communication with the Regional Social Insurance Directorate”, says Stefa. The director of the Fier State Social Service makes known that the official penal accusation towards the physicians of the HCDDP has started before her appointment on this duty, due to the abusive cases performed by the administrator of Cakran commune. “I have sent a letter to the central directorate related to the current situation. We have 5557 inhabitants registered as being disabled and who have to go to the commission to benefit the payment according to the law. Meantime, the HCDDP officially depends from the Social Insurance Directorate”, admits Alba Stefa.
The article published into investigim.al on the abuses in Cakran
The Director of the Fier Regional Social Insurance Directorate, Andius Olldashi, brings other arguments and facts related to the creation of this condition. Despite the fact that the present situation has brought problems to the labour disabled people, who are penalized by the lack of the physicians, Olldashi declares that the measures taken from the court have burdened the work of the Regional Social Insurance Directorate. “At a time that the claims raised by the Prosecution’s office and defined by the court decisions talk about acts that fall under the responsibility of the State Social Service and to the administrators in the communes and municipalities, it is them who are accused, we as institution are unfairly penalized”, he has declared.
Furthermore, Olldashi explains that the discrepancies found in the files of the people that benefit the invalidity payment are not under the responsibility of the Social Insurance and nor to the physicians of HCDDP, but to the Social Service. “To what is written in the court’s decisions, the responsibility does not fall only to the members of the HCDDP, but according to the 2005 regulation on the functioning of HCDDP, the responsibility for the documentation of the files falls directly to the expert physician of the State Social Service and the social administrators of the municipalities and communes. It is them that accept the application documents. Whereas the physicians of Fier Hospital that are appointed members of the HCDDP only assess from the health aspect the documents with the written diagnosis and they cannot be responsible if there is any lack of any other document as requested by the law and which are checked by the expertise physician of the State Social Service”, expresses the head of the Fier Regional Social Insurance Directorate. The situation created so far in the Fier HCDDP has brought lack of this service for the citizens of this district up to the final solution of this issue, as the commission either to the Social Service or to the HCDDP of the Regional Social Insurance Directorate is done by the same physicians.
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