Healthcare system is according to Minister Zuzana Zvolenská not only a black hole, in which money disappears, although she admits, that there never will be enough money. Currently besides negotiating with Minister of Finance about the reasonable amount of money for health care, Minister of Health addicts herself to the preparation for creation of unitary insurance system, analysis of charges in hospitals and clinics and examines whether to complete the hospital complex Rázsochy, or not.
Former head of medical trade unionists and current President of Slovak Medical Chamber, Marian Kollár, has been for several weeks trying to meet with Prime Minister Robert Fico. Together with other representatives of doctors he wants to discuss with him the plans of keeping the only one state health insurance company and propose also other possibilities how the change the insurance system. Office of Government, however, keeps in referring him to the Minister of Health Zuzana Zvolenská. According to the spokeswoman of the Office of Government, Beatrice Hudáková, the reason is that this is a special issue, which should be solved in cooperation with related department, in this case with Ministry of Health.
The proposal of Minister of Health Zuzana Zvolenská to renew the terminal network of hospitals is withstanding the wave of criticism. Ministry wants the 36 state healthcare institutions to have the contracts with insurance companies guaranteed from October. Several experts, however, warn against excessive distortion of the market. Proposal in the commentary proceeding was criticized also by all main actors from the health sector – doctors, hospitals and also insurance companies.
Ministry of Health plans in the proposed amendment to the act on pharmaceuticals to order pharmaceutical companies to provide Ministry with the list of meetings with doctors. Ministry would afterward publish it on its website. Producers of generic pharmaceuticals do not like this measure, as it will according to them worsen the business environment. Legal standard should after approving by the Government, Parliament and after signing by the President enter into force on July 2, 2013.
Healthcare professionals should next year get more money again. Former Government paid 4% for its policyholders and the same percentage is currently assumed also by the first proposal of the budget of actual Government. Healthcare system should totally get from the insurance and from state by almost 4% more than last year, what means more than € 150 million. It should be enough for covering of higher salaries of nurses and doctors. Estimations were about € 100 – 150 million per year.
Ministry of Health claims that at present there is an alarming increase of pharmaceuticals, which are falsified in relation to their identity, history or origin. Ministry of Health therefore in its amendment to the act on pharmaceuticals and medical devices proposes the measures, which should prevent their spreading. Aim of the amendment is to adopt the European Directive from June 2011. Ministry in its material states that counterfeit pharmaceuticals usually contain either substandard or counterfeit ingredients, contain no ingredients or ingredients, including active substances, in wrong amount.
Ministry of Health wants to prevent the human blood or plasma to be collected and exported without processing as a starting material for preparation of transfusion pharmaceuticals for industrial use in pharmaceutical industry. Only residential healthcare institutions and national transfusion service would thus be able to obtain the permission for preparing of transfusion pharmaceuticals. Ministry is planning to enforce this change through the amendment to the act on pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Paediatricians are angry at former Minister Ivan Uhliarik and are asking for bringing a suit against him. The reason is a change in purchasing of vaccines adopted by the Ministry of Health at the end of last year. This was stated by the head of Section of Paediatricians of Slovak Medical Chamber, Katarína Šimovičová. While previously the vaccines were issued by the pharmacy to nurse or doctor on the prescription for a particular patient, from December last year they have to be purchased by doctors themselves. Doctors claim they do not have money for it.
Discounts provided by pharmacies on pharmaceuticals which are being issued on prescription are according to the Ministry of Health bringing financial benefits, but despite this fact Ministry plans to introduce the ban of these bonuses. This should happen through the amendment to the act on pharmaceuticals. Ministry argues that loyalty system highly influences also the consumption of pharmaceuticals, which has been increasing. Executive manager of the network of pharmacies Dr. Max, Tomas Slechan, sees in the intention to prohibit the discounts especially the way how to cancel the competition between pharmacies.
Union believes that health insurance sector with several insurance companies is more effective than system with one insurance company with no competition. Board member of Union, Boris Masloviec, specified that shareholder of the insurance company – Dutch health insurance company Achmea is analysing the steps of Slovak Government and has already informed Government on its displeasure and disapproval. According to general director of Union, Roman Polák, the Government's argument for creation of one insurance company which relies on profits from health insurance is irrelevant.