Private outpatient clinics and hospitals joined the critique of implementation of one insurance company. Only one insurance company should, according to the estimations of the Ministry of Health, begin to work already in 2014. Private doctors and hospitals are afraid that one state insurance company will prefer public hospitals and outpatient clinics. According to the head of the Association of Private Doctors, Ladislav Pásztor, for them it means a loss of sharing of the risk.
Žilina self-government region has decided to offer for sale 9 buildings of former polyclinics to private doctors in an effort to motivate them to stay in these buildings and keep providing health care here. Buildings are situated in Kysucké Nové Mesto, Bytča, Turzovka, Liptovský Mikuláš, Liptovský Hrádok, Martin and Turčianske Teplice. According to the spokesman of the region, Peter Kubica, if private doctors agree with Žilina region, it would mean not only a maintaining of outpatient clinics in current location, but also their further development.
Doctors who are considering the start-up of private practice have in some specializations huge advantage according to lack of experts in some regions of Slovakia. This finding is based on the comparison of rules setting the necessary number of specialists with the reality. The biggest problems are in specializations such as radiation oncology, plastic surgery or drug dependence medicine. Insurance companies are allegedly recording no applications for conclusion of the contract in these specialisations.
Private doctors, who increased the salaries of nurses and enshrined it into their contracts, will not cancel them for now. According to the President of the Association of Private Doctors, Ladislav Pásztor, the decision of Constitutional Court is relevant for those, who have not increased the salaries of nurses until now and thus do not have to. As he noted, for now he does not know the exact wording of the decision. So he does not know, whether the Constitutional Court objected to the benefit of one group of healthcare professionals at the expense of others or that the money were not covered by state budget.
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.
Doctors still have not completed the negotiations with Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa (General Health Insurance Company). Both sides presented at today's joint negotiation their compromise proposals, but refused to informed about them. According to the President of Slovak Medical Chamber, Marian Kollár, they will now evaluate the compromise. Outpatient care doctors represented by Slovak Medical Chamber, Zdravita o.z., as well as the Association of General Practitioners for Children and Adolescents therefore continue to remain in non-contract relationship.
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.
According to the common statement of private physicians the prices, which were offered by the health insurance companies, are not acceptable for health care providers. Costs of private outpatient clinics, which arose also by increasing of salaries of nurses and doctors, are not included in the proposals of new contracts with Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa (General Health Insurance Company) and private insurance company Union. The representatives of Slovak Medical Chamber and civic association of private physicians Zdravita will meet on Monday June 25th and will agree on further proceeding.
In the case of no increasing of payments for outpatient clinics in connection with the act on wages of nurse, it could according to the head of Slovak Medical Chamber, Marian Kollár, come to the extinction of some of them. He pointed out that outpatient clinics have deep under-financed payments for particular performances. According to Kollár this might in short time cause the closing of outpatient clinics in the case that there will not be such contracts with insurance companies, which could help them to survive. Chamber is reportedly ready to participate not only on the preparation, but also on the support of all proposals and solutions.