Health-care providers who have not yet received contracts with health insurance companies will continue to receive payments for services to the minimum extent paid during 2008, according to the President of Slovak Chamber of Doctors, Milan Dragula. He said that health insurers gave him this assurance at a meeting on April 1. All health care facilities that had contracts signed with health insurers in 2008 will have contracts for 2009 as well, reported the SITA newswire.
According to Health Minister Richard Raši, almost all general practitioners have already signed new contracts with a health insurance company. “Všeobecná Zdravotná Poisťovňa has almost all its contracts signed and Spoločná Zdravotná Poisťovňa hasn't announced any problems either,” said Raši after the cabinet session on April 1, SITA wrote.
Raši said he has not noticed any problem with signing new contracts with doctors. He also emphasized that doctors who did not sign contracts with a health insurance company cannot ask patients to pay directly. “If that happens, it is necessary to contact the Health-Care Supervision Authority or the county self-government,” said the minister.
Health insurance companies offered doctors the same payments as last year. They have repeatedly said that because of the economic crisis they are losing a lot of money and they cannot afford to increase payments to health-care providers. Some providers have rejected this explanation and decided not to sign the new contracts.
“We have to look at health-care in the context of the current economic crisis. Health-care is one of few areas not touched by layoffs and wage cuts,” said Raši addressing the health-care providers. In his opinion, it is great that the health insurers are able to keep payments at the same level as in 2008. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.