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Cheaper drugs among party promises

AHEAD of the June 17 general elections, political parties are promising to give more money to the health care sector, including PM Mikuláš Dzurinda's Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ).

While the SDKÚ recently said the state would not be able to pay more to cover health treatments, the SDKÚ's Viliam Novotný now says that "the sector has gone through a reform and it is no longer a black hole that money gets lost in".

Vladimír Mečiar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) says it wants to increase wages, employment, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises, according to the Pravda daily. These measures would increase the payroll tax base, meaning that health care insurers would automatically receive more money.

Several political parties want to decrease or cancel altogether the Sk20 fees per visit to the doctor and Sk50 per hospital stay that the Dzurinda government introduced as part of its health care reform.

All parties agree that the state should keep control over the largest health care insurers, Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa and Spoločná zdravotná poisťovňa.

The HZDS and the Free Forum party want to cancel the Health Care Supervision Bureau, while Ján Slota's Slovak National Party wants to keep the office and use it to keep stricter control of health care providers.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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