Union settles dispute with hospitals

Despite the concessions, the health insurer warns against a critical situation in the sector.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

The private health insurer Union has yielded to the demands of the Association of Hospitals in Slovakia (ANS) and decided to let them keep all the payments they have received for 2016.

“It was a very hard decision because it will have a negative financial effect on us and it will not solve the problem of insufficient financing of health care,” said Michal Špaňár, director general of Union, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

The decision was affected also by the claims of the hospitals that the health treatment of insurer’s clients would be limited, he added.

Read also:Union wants agreement with hospitals Read more 

He referred to the earlier decision of some 40 ANS members to terminate agreements with Union in response to the insurer’s demand to send back already paid money “due to this year’s lack of funds for health care”.

Despite the concessions, Union stressed that the health sector will still face the same problem with a lack of finances in the sector. This may also be caused by the proposed drop in the rate on the groups for which the state pays the insurance (i.e. students, women on maternity leave, old people and unemployed) from 4.41 percent to 3.78 percent. The insurer thus expects that the Health Ministry and other respective authorities will have to deal with the problem as well, as reported by SITA.

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