BUSINESS IN SHORT

State health insurer seeks €65 million

HEALTH Minister Richard Raši has asked the government for over €65 million to support the state-owned health insurer, Všeobecná Zdravotná Poisťovňa (VšZP), as it prepares to merge with the other state-owned health insurance company, Spoločná Zdravotná Poisťovňa (SZP). The minister said this step is being taken to eliminate impacts from the economic crisis and to maintain the health insurer’s equity, the SITA newswire reported.

HEALTH Minister Richard Raši has asked the government for over €65 million to support the state-owned health insurer, Všeobecná Zdravotná Poisťovňa (VšZP), as it prepares to merge with the other state-owned health insurance company, Spoločná Zdravotná Poisťovňa (SZP). The minister said this step is being taken to eliminate impacts from the economic crisis and to maintain the health insurer’s equity, the SITA newswire reported.

The merger of the two state-owned health insurance companies into one successor, VšZP, is planned for January 1, 2010 with the complete consolidation to be finished by the end of 2011, according to the ministry's plans. The sole shareholder of the successor insurance company will be the Slovak Republic, with the Health Ministry executing shareholder rights on behalf of the state.

“We are ready for this. If we clearly agree with the Health Ministry that the savings and synergistic effects are as declared, which appears to be the case at first glance, then we are willing to back this idea and, of course, we have the necessary resources,” said Finance Minister Ján Počiatek on September 8.

The largest opposition party, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), appealed to the prime minister “to stop this foolishness and blatant wasting of taxpayers’ money,” in the words of SDKÚ parliamentary deputy Viliam Novotný, as quoted by SITA. Novotný said the actual use of these funds by the biggest state health insurer is unclear and that Health Minister Richard Raši just wants to get the money under the “pretext of the merger”, SITA wrote.


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