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Health care dispute heats up

THE CHAMBER of Physicians called on Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda and Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš to discuss the problems of the health care sector and its financing after failing to reach agreement with the country's largest health insurer on payments for doctors.

The chamber said that the insurer, Všeobecná poisťovňa, is forcing doctors to provide "unlimited health care for limited compensation", and has called on its members not to sign coverage deals with Všeobecná. Some 70 percent of Slovak citizens are covered by the insurer.

However, if doctors fail to sign by the end of March, Všeobecná poisťovňa has said it will consider them non-contracted physicians and will cover expenses for emergency treatment only, the SME daily wrote.

Všeobecná has said it is willing to talk, but that it faces budget constraints. The chamber argues that the insurer should have warned doctors far earlier about its lack of funds.

The Slovak cabinet is due to address the tensions within the health sector at its next meeting.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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