AGEL, the new majority shareholder in the private health insurance company Apollo Zdravotná Poisťovňa, has said it believes health insurers should not earn a profit.
“We believe that health insurance companies should not make a profit from compulsory health insurance premiums, but create products for healthcare providers which will increase the quality of the healthcare provided in Slovakia,” said Mária Adamová, head of marketing for Agel, according to the SITA newswire.
But another shareholder in Apollo holds the opposite view.
Penta group, which is a minority shareholder in Apollo and also owns the biggest private health insurer, Dôvera, is preparing for arbitration against the government over a ban it imposed on health insurers retaining profits or making payments to shareholders.
Martin Danko, a spokesman for Penta, pointed out that the current legislation does not ban health insurers from earning profits, but restricts their usage.
“It is not clear to us whether Agel will try to persuade Slovak legislators to enact a complete ban on earning profits,” said Danko.
Penta said that all entities in the healthcare sector, including state and private ones, should have the opportunity to increase the quality of services for patients. That is why, it argues, they should be entitled to make and manage their profit so as to be motivated to offer the best possible services.
Agel wants a state representative on the Apollo supervisory board. According to Adamová, the group decided this step would create the most transparent environment for the health insurer. Penta’s spokesperson did not want to comment on the issue.
Agel has direct and indirect control over several companies, mainly in the healthcare sector. The Agel group includes health insurer Zdravotní Pojišťovna Agel in the Czech Republic, and Agel SK and Medi Relax M + M in Slovakia.
25. Aug 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports