The already belated electronisation of Slovakia’s health care will be even later than originally planned after the cabinet has revised the valid legislation and postponed the issuance of eHealth cards.
The cabinet at its session on April 25 approved the proposal submitted by Health Minister Tomáš Drucker (Smer nominee) postponing deadlines for eHealth projects. The changes will be discussed in parliament in a fast-tracked procedure. The deadline for issuing health insurance cards with embedded electronic chips will be postponed by a year from December 2016 to December 2017. The same deadline extension is to be introduced for the mandatory creation and sending of electronic health files to the electronic health records of people. The change still needs to be okayed by parliament.
This latest development is due to the recent re-evaluation of the eHealth strategy.
“Based on recommendations from a check conducted by the Supreme Audit Office, insufficient financing for the process of issuing insurance cards and a lack of time regarding potential financing from EU structural funds, it is necessary to postpone the deadline for issuing out insurance cards with chips as well as the mandatory creation and sending of electronic health files to electronic medical records,” the Health Ministry wrote in the proposal.
The Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) has questioned appendixes to the agreement on realisation of electronic health-care services. Thus an audit, that should look at its validity, will follow.
Drucker is postponing projects of electronisation of health care even though his predecessor Viliam Čislák said in early 2016 that all necessary applications for eHealth have been developed and required infrastructure is secured.