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Slovakia lacks funds to introduce new EU health card

SLOVAKIA is among 13 of the 25 European Union member states that did not adopt the European Health Insurance Card on June 1.

The new card replaces the paperwork required when a citizen of one EU country receives medical treatment during a temporary stay elsewhere else in the bloc.

"We lack money for it," Health Minister Rudolf Zajac told the news wire TASR.

"The card costs €5, and the cost of providing one to all of our 5.3 million citizens equals almost our annual budget."

EU member states have until the end of 2005 to introduce the card.

"Given the relatively high cost… we are planning to cover at least part of it," said Zajac, adding that the price charged to citizens could be up to Sk200 (€5).

The card was adopted on June 1 by Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Slovenia, Luxembourg, and Estonia.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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