A bill to reduce health sector debt by requiring medical patients to pay for visits to the doctor, prescriptions and hospital stays moved to the second of three readings in the legislature, and is scheduled for a final vote next month.
The political opposition has criticized the measure, with one Communist Party MP referring to it as "the beginning of the genocide of the Slovak nation", and Smer party boss Robert Fico promising to challenge it in court if it is passed.
Supporters of the bill claim it is needed to reduce the amount of costly drugs and hospital stays that doctors prescribe, often at the behest of drug companies, under the current system of free care.
Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
15. Jan 2003 at 10:40