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Prosecutor dismisses minister's motion against health insurers

In late December, the General Prosecutor's office shelved a motion of Health Minister Ivan Valentovič against the Association of Health Insurance Companies (ZZP).

In late December, the General Prosecutor's office shelved a motion of Health Minister Ivan Valentovič against the Association of Health Insurance Companies (ZZP).

The minister accused the organisation of trying to scare the public. According to ZZP Executive Director Eduard Kováč, the prosecutor said that the motion was unfounded. The minister was reacting to health insurance companies' advertising campaign, which warned of dire consequences of introduction of a single health insurer in Slovakia.

The minister argued that in its campaign, ZZP warned against the cancellation of health insurance companies and limited freedom of choice of health insurers for patients, which, ZZP said, might worsen the quality of and accessibility to health care. The minister restated that the legislation drawn up by his ministry would not eliminate health insurers, and leaves it up to citizens to select their health insurers, the SITA newswire wrote.

The ministry also filed a motion against the campaign with the Council for Advertising, which decided as well that the ministry's complaint is ungrounded. The campaign allegedly presented ZZP opinions, the truth of which cannot be confirmed.

Valentovič also turned to the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission. It consequently launched administrative proceedings against the Markíza TV and JOJ TV networks. The ministry alleged that the broadcasters violated provisions of the law on broadcasting and retransmission on unbiased reporting and plurality of opinion. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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