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Repeal of the Obligation to Include a Disease Code in the Report on Temporary Inability to Work

Repeal of the Obligation to Include a Disease Code in the Report on Temporary Inability to Work

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The Ministry of Health passed a new bylaw within the health care system. The Rulebook on Forms in Health Care System was published in the Official Gazette of RS no. 31/2021 on March 31, 2021, and entered into force on April 8, 2021 (the “Rulebook”).

With the entry into force of the Rulebook, the Article 109, point 10 of the Rulebook on Manner and Procedure of Exercising the Right to Compulsory Health Insurance (Official Gazette of RS no. 10/2010, 18/2010 – amended, 46/2010, 52/2010 – amended, 80/2010, 60/2011 – decision of the CC, 1/2013, 108/2017, 82/2019 – other rulebook) ceased to apply, which was also prescribed by the Form OZ-6 – Report on the Temporary Inability to Work. The said form, among other things, also included data on diagnosis of the insured person, in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

Pursuant to the provisions of Article 103 of the Labor Act, the employee is liable to submit a doctor’s certificate to the employer, no later than three days from the occurence of temporary inability to work in terms of the health insurance regulations. In accordance with the previously applicable regulations, this certificate also contained the code of the employee’s disease, without the essential need for such special type of personal data, i.e. on health condition of the employee, to be disclosed to the employer in this way.

Moreover, the Labor Act prescribes in the same article that the subject certificate must only contain time of the expected inability to work, but not the specific disease due to which the subject inability occurred.

Consequence of adopting the Rulebook is that doctor is no longer obliged to reveal details of disease within its report on the temporary inability to work, as it will no longer specify the code of disease, i.e. the insured person’s diagnosis. Namely, Article 9 of the Rulebook stipulates data that comprise the content of form of the report on temporary inability to work, among which is not the diagnosis of the insured person, but only some of the 13 explicitly stated causes of such inability (illness; mandatory isolation measure; illness or complications related to the maintenance of pregnancy; donor of organs, cells, tissues, etc).

In accordance with the above, removing the Form OZ-6 is of a particular importance for the personal data protection. Namely, the Act on Personal Data Protection stipulates in Article 17 that, except for particullary provided cases, the processing of data on health status of a natural person is prohibited, which includes the data on physical and mental health of natural person, as well as on the provision of health services, which reveal information on its health condition.

This article is to be considered as exclusively informative, with no intention to provide legal advice. If you should need additional information, please contact us directly.

By Lara Maksimovic, Senior Associate, and Danica Nikitovic, Junior Associate, PR Legal

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