The ex-minister pointed out that since 2006 the chairman of the ÚDZS has been subordinate to the government. His appointment then passed from parliament to government. Subsequently, according to Zajac, the office was involved in executive activities – first he became the manager of the preparation of the so-called DRG system and later directly managed the selection of rescue service providers. “Both things, and many others, ended in failure,” Zajac thinks.
VIDEO Hlas-SD criticizes the planned reform of hospitals in the healthcare sector
This is a serious problem
He considers it a serious problem that the Office continues to be removed from the position of regulator and is drawn into the executive, namely that a member of the ÚDZS is to be a part of the commission on the categorization of hospitals or in other decision-making commissions. He compared this situation to a situation where the National Bank of Slovakia would own a bank or the Office for the Regulation of Network Industries of Power Plants.
According to him, the problematic independence of the Office also lies in the fact that its chairman is “relatively easily revocable”, as the law would allow his dismissal if he committed a serious mistake in the performance of his function. He therefore asks what is meant by “serious misconduct” in this case. According to him, the bill only pretends to solve the claim of the insured. “It is true that the insured person’s entitlement means the right to reimbursement from public health insurance, but not to the provider, ie the hospital, but for the care provided to the insured person,” stated.
The patient is important
He also pointed out that the proposal refers to the hospital’s right to reimbursement if it meets the categorized criteria. The former health minister thinks that the most important thing for the patient will ultimately be whether he gets to a hospital that has “prescribed parameters for his illness.”
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“What the health insurance does not pay, ie what will not be in the insured’s claim, must be paid by the insured himself or he will be insured for this reimbursement risk in individual insurance,” added Zajac. He stressed that the bill does not address this issue. To talk about reform without this element, he said, is “like licking honey through glass”.
In August, the Ministry of Health (MH) of the Slovak Republic announced that it was launching a reform of hospitals, the outpatient sector and the operation of health insurance companies, which is intended to regulate profit generation. It promises to expand the competencies of general practitioners or nurses. The resort also wants to focus on the use of telemedicine services. The proposal also defines the minimum percentage of premiums collected that insurance companies must use for healthcare. The reform was criticized by the opposition party Hlas-SD, the Žilina county described the party’s words as lies.