From next year in Slovakia should start operating new types of medical facilities – integrated centers. Centers should concentrate doctors, along with social workers at one place. In the pilot program, the Ministry of Health wants to try three to ten centers. State has not yet decided where will be built the first center. Ministry wants to start their construction or reconstruction of existing health centers next year. Together should be built 140 such centers in towns and larger villages. One center should operate for about 30-thousand people. The part of the reform, which involves building these centers and it is estimated to about ten years, is also change of hospitals.
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.
The Ministry of Health has released the results of the second round of the tender for the license for providing ambulances. Within it Ministry reallocated licenses to operate 124 ambulances of ground emergency medical service. As is apparent from the results, the most of them received Falck Záchranná, Záchranná a dopravná zdravotnícka služba Bratislava, Záchranná služba Košice and ZaMED. Licences are valid for next six years, not four as it was in past. The first round of the tender was not successful for several regional hospitals. Their stations were acquired by private or public companies. In the second round several hospitals, on the contrary, obtain the licenses to continue the existing station.
The Ministry of Health has prepared document which sets crucial changes in health care until 2030. It counts with the reduction of beds in hospitals. Whereas the current number of them is approximately 34 000, within 17 years the figure should plummet to 19 000. The document was already passed by government. The aim of the ministry is to make a better use of acute hospital beds. Those are earmarked for patients whose health status is suddenly deteriorated yet they do not pertain to chronic patients. The ministry plans to reduce their number and change their structure. On the other hand the number of rehabilitation and nursery beds for long-term sick (chronic hospital beds) should be increased.
Government will pay on health insurance contributions totally 1.15 billion euros next year. This is assumed in the budget proposal for 2014, which was approved by the government. Still it has to be passed in the parliament. Hence the down payments for the premium paid by government should in 2014 decline compared to the budget approved for this year by 111 million euros. Government also assumes that the number of insured will decrease from this year’s 3.15 million to next year’s 3.12 million. The exact rate for the government insured is not stated in the budget. According to minister of health Zuzana Zvolenská the rate is 4 percent. According to Peter Pažitný from HPI it equals by calculation only 3.82 percent.
The Ministry of Health published the results of a public procurement for licenses to operate 76 ambulances land emergency medical services. As can be seen from the results, most of the licenses reallocated among themselves LSE-Life Star Emergency, Falck Záchranná, Záchranná a dopravná zdravotnícka služba Bratislava and Záchranná služba Košice. Licenses should be valid for six years instead of the currently four. According to amended law on health care providers, with the application for permission providers has obligation to submit also the proof of human resources of emergency vehicles and project of strategy and development of emergency services. Slovakia currently operates 273 outpatient land emergency medical services and seven airs.
The Luxembourg court regulated the attachment of Slovak assets in the amount of € 29.5 million. The money that is presently on multiple accounts in Luxembourg banks should be put in a special account, where stay out of the reach of the Slovak Republic. Execution applied Netherlands company Achmea, owner of health insurance company Union, after it has won the arbitral tribunal with the Slovakia in December 2012 due to prohibition on profits. Ministry of Finance argues that the state does not miss the money, until it is just “locked”, money still belongs to Slovakia. Slovakia requested the annulment of the arbitral tribunal in Germany, but tribunal has not decided yet.
Government approved the draft of terms of the public procurement for the counsellor for the introduction of a unitary system of public health insurance. The counsellor should appreciate for example the value of private health insurance companies. As can be seen from the material, conditions are set so that participate on procurement can only firms with experience. More concrete, they must have had at least three contracts in the last three years, for which received at least half a million. The condition of high rewards is not liked by more lawyers. Reward for counsellor may vary at three million. The Ministry of Health justified the price by the fact that such large and complex transactions require the participation of a qualified counsellor with human and technical capacities, and sufficient expertise. Counsellor should be known in August. Contracting authority is Company for introduction of unitary system of public health insurance.