NEWS BRIEFS

President sends back health bill

PRESIDENT Rudolf Schuster has refused to sign the new health bill that was due to come into effect at the beginning of April. The president objected to a range of charges for health services introduced by the bill, saying they were not in agreement with international treaties on children's rights.

A spokesperson for Health Minister Rudolf Zajac said: "The future of the new bill is now in the hands of MPs. Parliament must show that it stands behind the reforms of the health service."

The proposed fees include Sk20 (0.50 euro) for a drug prescription, Sk50 (1.25 euro) for a day in hospital, and Sk2 (0.05 euro) for every kilometre travelled in an ambulance. If parliament passes the bill a second time, it will come into law without the president's signature.

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