Doctors welcome Kiska veto of priority appointment ban

DOCTORS welcome President Andrej Kiska’s decision to return the amendment concerning paying fees for priority appointments of doctors back to parliament, the TASR newswire reported March 5.

Viliam NovotnýViliam Novotný (Source: TASR)

“Sending the bill back to parliament provides us with an opportunity to discuss the matter professionally,” Private Doctors Association (ASL) head Ladislav Pásztor said.

Pásztor noted that general practitioners have been interested in setting the direct payments in such a manner that patients would know when and for what they are paying, and practitioners would know for what medical intervention they can claim direct payment. The Health Ministry has departed from the originally agreed intention, however, Pásztor said, adding that the major issue is the legislation leaving out the option of setting priority appointment for a fee.

“A much-used service was cancelled and providers lost irreplaceable money,” Pásztor said, as quoted by TASR. “There’s a danger that a considerable number of offices will find themselves in financial troubles and health care can be endangered as well.”

The Slovak Medical Chamber (SLK) also welcomes Kiska’s decision, as it is convinced that the adoption of the amendment in its current version would be a rough and economically half-baked intervention in economic relations vis-a-vis health care.

Independent MP Viliam Novotný called on his parliamentary colleagues to take advantage of Kiska’s veto and halt the adoption of this “absurd” amendment. The bill does not solve the mess in health care payments, adding that the biggest problem is the cancellation of the fee for a priority appointment, according to him.

“Sending the bill back to parliament provides room for professional discussion and reconsideration of all aspects of the bill in such a way that the final solution would be advantageous for all parties interested,” Kiska said, as quoted by TASR.

Already, his veto has been overridden three times since he took office nine months ago – the Labour Code, Public Procurements Act and a bill on the voting procedure for judicial appointments.

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