Ministry of Health introduced changes in fees. Issuance recipe, acknowledgment of passes to work under treatment, ordering on preferred examination if the doctor cannot make appointment within five days - in these cases, doctors in outpatient departments soon could not charge fees. Legislative proposal should be given for comments in the coming days. The new legislation does not provide the exact amount of the fees or their limits. Fees shall be adopted by doctors themselves; however, their price lists will be approved by self-governing regions. Amendment also specifies what document must be evidence of payment. Ministry warns that the doctor has to issue it automatically, not on request by patient. The new system could be valid in autumn this year.
By June 1, 2013 is it 10 years after the introduction of "20 and 50 crown" fees in health care, so-called „zajacovky“. Anniversary commemorated at a press conference former members of the reform team of Minister Rudolf Zajac, who now operate in Health Policy Institute (HPI). According to Director of HPI Peter Pažitný, the main reasons for introducing of fees a decade ago were: to limit excessive demand for health care, to increase patient co-responsibility for own health, to reduce corruption. Although the objectives of the introduction of fees were fulfilled, unpopularity made them the subject of political struggle. After elections in 2006, the government runs down the most of the fees. If the fees were reintroduced at the same rate today, it could bring overall more than € 115 million per year into the health care sector. Nowadays, outpatient doctors who charges fees, do not use cash registers and how much they earn by fees no one knows.
Top 30 most often prescribed pharmaceuticals will get from January significantly more expensive in consequence of proposed measures of the Government. They include for example the pharmaceuticals for asthmatics, cardiac patients, but also for oncological patients. This results from the calculations of political party SDKÚ-DS, which were reported by Vice President Viliam Novotný. According to these calculations the changes would currently apply to 1 037 of almost 5 200 categorized pharmaceuticals. 222 of them would get cheaper and 815 would have a higher price.
Chaos in charges set by hospitals continues. People cannot get used to it and keep complaining. Patients are discontent and claim that it is not clear for what they exactly pay. Besides medical performances not covered by health insurance companies, hospitals are asking for extra money for above standard by the accommodation or food, people pay also for using of their own notebook or radio in a hospital room. Charges are different in each hospital and the law is not being violated. Experts agree that until the acts will not exactly define what is standard and what is above standard in healthcare system, system cannot work well.
Private hospital in Šaca (district of Košice) is allegedly violating the rights of consumers by collecting of flat administrative fee in amount of € 1.2 for providing of extra services. According to the head of Consumer Centre, Miroslav Antoňak, by collecting of this fee the private hospital is violating the law, as by the common outpatient examination it does not provide any extra services, which would be somehow characterized. Hospital refuses these allegations.
Patient last year paid for surcharges approximately € 175.7 million, what is 8.3% more than in 2010. Compared to 2008 people paid even by € 21 million more. This negative growth should be stopped by the new categorization of pharmaceuticals, which is, according to the Association of Suppliers of Pharmaceuticals, being prepared at the Ministry of Health. Surcharges for pharmaceuticals should be increased in average by 5%. More than a half of surcharges or their increasing will be in the group of pharmaceuticals for cardiovascular diseases.
Minister of Health Zuzana Zvolenská called on patients not to pay anything in the outpatient clinics. She pointed out that Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa (General Health Insurance Company) has ensured everything so people do not have to pay for pharmaceuticals and examinations. Head of the Ministry therefore asked patients not to support doctors in their approach when they, according to her, abuse patients to force the state insurance company to agree to their excessive terms.
Despite the promises of outpatient care doctors that they will not charge patients for the visit in first week of July from today they will draw the check to chronic patients for some performances. Policyholders of Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa (General Health Insurance Company) will thus pay by the visit of specialist or general practitioner for example for blood taking, laboratory examination, ultrasound examination or x-ray examination. VšZP advises its policyholders not to pay in outpatient clinics and despite the non-contract relationship plans to cover the examinations to doctors.
Patients may have to pay out of pocket for the treatment in the outpatient clinics. Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa (VšZP, General Health Insurance Company) and insurance company Union were not able to make an agreement with doctors on new contracts from July 1st. VšZP offers 6.5% increase of monthly payments to general practitioners and 5% to specialists, while doctors are asking for 20%. Insurance companies claim that requirements of doctors do not meet their resources.
Slovak Chamber of Dentists warns that patients will probably pay more for dentists. The reason should be the adoption of the Act on minimum wage claims of nurses and midwives. On its base also dentists should increase the salaries of their nurses, but they, however, claim that they do not have money for that. Even health insurance companies did not help them and they are greatly dissatisfied with the increasing of prices for dental operations from their side. According to Chamber it does not cover the act on salaries of nurses as well as the indexation of the salaries of doctors.