Doctors bypass law to collect money from patients

THE RECENTLY passed bill seeking to do away with fees for priority appointment at a doctor’s office, effective as of April 30, is already being bypassed and the Bratislava regional administration is checking the ProCare policlinics, belonging to the financial group Penta. 

ProCare ProCare (Source: Sme)

Regional Governor Pavol Frešo (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union-SDKÚ) does not like the fact that they collect fees, for example for priority appointment of patients, via the external firm MyCare.

The recently passed amendment to law on the scope of health care does not allow doctors to collect fees, the Sme daily wrote. The audit should be completed within two weeks, regional office spokeswoman Veronika Beňadiková told the daily.

Any patient who wants to visit a doctor in the ProCare facility has to pass a reception desk operated by the external company where he or she signs a “voluntary” contract ordering a certain package of services. The question is whether they can still see a doctor if they refuse.

“We offer all our services and products through the MyCare company, in compliance with the valid legislation,” Viktor Földes, the head of ProCare, told Sme.

It is true that the amendment bans doctors from conditioning health care by paying fees but fails to specify whether the previously scrapped fees can be collected by an external company, Sme concludes. 

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