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Iran: New Law Poses Health and Financial Problems for Thalassemia Sufferers

(Sept. 27, 2017) A recent Iranian law that in effect removes all foreign medications from the list of drugs covered by insurance organizations reportedly endangers the health of a large percentage of the country’s thalassemia patients and subjects them to heavy financial burdens.  (Law Creating Hurdles for Thalassemia Patients, FINANCIAL TRIBUNE (July 26, 2017).)  The […]

Germany: Constitutional Right to Reimbursement for Uncovered Health Care Services Only Exists in Emergencies

(May 17, 2017) On May 11, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) declined to accept a case for review that challenged a lower court’s decision not to obligate the applicant’s statutory health insurance to pay for intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (antibody infusions) not covered under her plan, to treat her autoimmune disease. (BVerfG, 1 BvR 452/17, […]

Canada: Province of Ontario to Ban ‘Conversion Therapy’ for LGBT Children

(June 12, 2015) On June 4, 2015, the Canadian province of Ontario passed Bill 77 (Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Act, 2015, S.O. 2015 C.18, http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=3197 ), which bans conversion therapy treatment for children under the age of 18. Conversion therapy, which is also known as reparative therapy, is any treatment whose purpose is […]

Russia: Receipt of Sick Leave Benefits Will Depend on Healthy Life Style

(June 1, 2015) On May 27, 2015, it was reported that Russian legislators had discussed the possibility of providing sick leave benefits only for those Russians who maintain healthy lifestyles and participate in government-sponsored health maintenance programs. The Vice Chairman of the Health Care Committee of the State Duma (the lower house of the national […]

Taiwan: Long-Term Care Legislation Adopted

(May 22, 2015) On May 15, 2015, the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s main legislative body, passed a draft law on long-term care services. Passage of the law clears the way for legislation on long-term care insurance to be adopted. (Alison Hsiao, Legislature Passes Long-Term Care Bill, TAIPEI TIMES (May 16, 2015); Long-Term Care Services Act [Act] […]

Organization of American States: Agreement with PAHO on Cooperation to Achieve Universal Health Coverage

(July 3, 2014) On June 3, 2014, the leaders of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Organization of American States (OAS) signed a joint declaration in which they agreed to collaborate in order to achieve universal health coverage in the Western Hemisphere. (Press Release, OAS, The OAS and PAHO Will Work Together for […]

Australia: Budget Includes Introduction of $7 Co-pay for Doctor Visits

(May 22, 2014) On May 13, 2014, the Australian Treasurer, Joe Hockey, published the federal government’s annual budget for the period July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015. (BUDGET 2014-1 (last visited May 14, 2014); for information on the Australian appropriations process, see The Commonwealth’s Appropriation Framework – An Introduction, Department of Finance website, http://www.finance.gov.au/budget/budget-process/appropriation-bills.html […]

Vietnam: New Rules on Visas Considered; Other Legislation Discussed

(Feb. 12, 2014) The Vietnamese legislature is considering adopting a law on entry, exit, and residence of foreigners that would have a unilateral visa exemption for foreign visitors. On January 12, 2014, Nguyen Kim Khoa, the Chair of the Committee for National Defense and Security of the National Assembly (NA), noted that exemptions would need […]