The Jordan Medical Association is negotiating with the Jordan Association for Medical Insurance (JAMI) over new doctors' fees in contracts with the latter.
The negotiations will lead to increases in the fees of doctors and will be reflected in the cost of insurance policies. The medical association is seeking to increase doctors' remuneration to cope with inflation in the cost of living over the past decade.
However, the two sides are locked in a dispute because JAMI is insisting on a clause in the agreement to allow insurance companies to enjoy a 20% discount on the doctors' fees, reported Al Ghad.
Both sides have already agreed to reduce the increase in the doctors' fees from an originally proposed 32.5% to 25% after negotiations that have so far lasted three months.
The head of the committee of wages and pricing of the Medical Association, Dr Asaad Ghazal, said insurance companies in the Kingdom are currently dealing with doctors according to a 2008 fee list while data from the Central Bank and the Department of Statistics showed that the cost of living had increased by 32.5% over the past decade.
In addition, the existing contract with JAMI omits many medical treatment procedures, and does not cover several diseases. Dr Ghazal said that medicine had developed a lot during the last 10 years. There has been a negative impact on the Jordanian doctor, because insurance companies do not agree to procedures not listed in the 2008 list.
He said that adhering to the 2008 list prevents patients from benefiting from medical advances. The situation has made several doctors reluctant to deal with some insurance companies. Thus, the medical association issued a new doctors' fee list last October.
He said that negotiations have failed so far because of JAMI's insistence that doctors provide a 20% discount on their fees.
JAMI's Secretary General Fawaz Ajlouni said that the association is still negotiating with the doctors. He said that the 20% discount is part of an agreement signed in 2010 between the two parties with the Consumer Protection Association and is binding on all parties.
Mr Ajlouni confirmed that there are points to be negotiated with the Medical Association, including to determine the medical services on which the proposed 25% increase in doctors' fees are to be applied.