Healthcare Bureau loses independence

THE CABINET will have the right to fire the chairman of the Healthcare Supervision Bureau (ÚDZS) at any time, according to a revision passed in parliament on December 12.

The change was a part of an amendment to the Act on Health Insurance Companies prepared by MPs Jozef Valocký and Ján Zvonár from the ruling Smer party.

Under the current law, the ÚDZS chairman can only be ousted by the cabinet for committing a crime or for acting in conflict with the requirements of the post.

Parliament also approved a proposal by Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) MP Milan Urbáni giving the cabinet the right to dismiss the members of the ÚDZS board of trustees in the same way.

The coalition has been criticized for pressuring other independent state institutions, such as the energy market regulator, in its drive to achieve its policy aims.

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