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Union denies reports of scrapped hospital contracts

There is no basis to the story reported by the Sme daily on Monday, August 19, that contracts between the smallest Slovak health-insurer, Union, and 16 state hospitals and institutions are being terminated, according to the private insurer. Union is allegedly still negotiating the contracts, and has sealed the deal on three of them.

There is no basis to the story reported by the Sme daily on Monday, August 19, that contracts between the smallest Slovak health-insurer, Union, and 16 state hospitals and institutions are being terminated, according to the private insurer. Union is allegedly still negotiating the contracts, and has sealed the deal on three of them.

“We have met their requirements and submitted new amendments to the contracts,” Union spokesperson Judita Smatanová told the TASR newswire. “There's no reason not to sign these contracts and no reason for policyholders to be dragged into such political games.”

Union, owned by Dutch company Achmea, and another private health-insurer, Dôvera, have been targeted for redundancy in the government's planned unitary health-care insurance programme.

Union recently had problems with Bratislava University Hospital (actually a complex of five hospitals located throughout the city) when its policyholders were tended to only in emergency cases. New contract conditions are valid until the end of September, TASR wrote.

Sme wrote in its Tuesday issue that the 409,000 Union policyholders involved fear that as of October, when their current health policies expire, they will not be treated in those hospitals. The 16 hospitals
scrapped the contracts suddenly at the end of June, but three of them have already signed new contracts. The contracts with the remaining 13 will expire on September 30, which is also the date until policyholders can switch insurers, according to the recent rules. However, the change will become effective only from January, Sme wrote explaining their fears.

The Health Ministry denied any responsibility for the situation, TASR wrote.

(Source: TASR, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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