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 criticised 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.
20. Jan 2003 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA