IN SHORT

Privatisation funds to unreformed sector

SLOVAKIA's hospitals will use part of a Sk3.7 bailout package from the government to pay overdue premiums to cash-strapped social security provider Sociálna Poisťovňa, according to Health Ministry officials.

While the funds will be transferred from the FNM privatisation agency to the Health Ministry for paying down health-sector debts, neither the ministry nor the insurer has said how much will be allocated to pay back insurance premiums.

Sociálna Poisťovňa should also be receiving Sk1.6 billion in back payments from railway company ŽSR as the government pays overdue subsidies for passenger transport.

The payment of overdue premiums will be a welcome relief for the insurer, which is currently covering pension payments with resources from its sick-leave fund, though the agency has warned it will run out of internal funds to pay pensions in October or November of this year.

Critics have advised against using one-off privatisation proceeds to pay revolving debt in the unreformed health sector, which continues to spend beyond its resources.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

News digest: Long queues around Slovakia on the first day of nationwide testing

Hundreds of thousands got tested during the first five hours. Experts warn it is too early to interpret the results.

Drive-in testing site in Bratislava.

Afraid of testing? Minimise your risk of infection with these test day tips

Coughing is the most dangerous part of the testing process.

Zborov, the Bardejov district

UPDATED: Nationwide testing for COVID-19 is on

Long queues have formed in front of most testing points since early morning. Some drive-through sites closed in Bratislava

Testing in Trenčín, western Slovakia

The big testing: When and where to show up, and what if I don't want to? (FAQ)

Here is what we know about the practicalities of the nationwide testing so far. Testing also applies to foreigners and diplomats in Slovakia.

Pilot testing in Bardejov