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Specialist doctors disagree with Health Minister's draft

The Slovak Association of Doctor Specialists (SLUS) oppose the draft amendment to the law on health insurance companies proposed by Health Minister Ivan Valentovič.

"The way of liquidating health insurance companies, prepared by the minister and recommended by the Cabinet's Legislative Council for approval, suggests the end of real democracy in Slovakia," reads the association's statement issued on July 11, presented to the SITA newswire by SLUS President Andrej Jančo.

Jančo said that at the end of May, SLUS representatives handed over a petition with nearly 6,000 citizens' signatures to the Health Ministry. In the petition, they demanded the ministry maintain the plurality of health insurance companies and citizens' freedom to choose a health insurer.

According to SLUS, the amendment aspires to a single health insurance company, indirectly takes away rights of patients and health care providers, and possibly lead to unsatisfactory supervision of economic performance in the health care system. The group fears the changes would deliberately break international treaties and the Slovak Constitution, creating a risk that people dependent on government funds and all those who contribute to them with their premiums will have to pay for it.

The draft proposes, among other things, lowering the cap on funds that health insurers can utilise for their own administration, and orders insurers to spend their entire profit on health care settlements.

During an interdepartmental review of the draft, various state institutions pointed to the possibility of the draft being at odds with the Slovak Constitution and international treaties.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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