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NEWS BRIEFS

Health Minister claims to have bribery cure

ACCORDING to the daily Pravda, every Slovak gives away Sk2,200 (€52) annually on bribes to physicians while eight of ten people think they cannot get decent health care without bribery. Health Minister Rudolf Zajac claims to know a cure for the problem.

"The Health Ministry's goal is to inject the 'unofficial money' into the health care system," spokeswoman of the ministry Alexandra Novotná said. Zajac plans to open the possibility for additional health insurance for patients who want extra care. What they slip to the physician's pocket, they could pay to the hospital's cashier.

The EU statistics office, Eurostat, estimates that bribes cost Slovaks Sk12 billion (€285 million) annually.

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