Prime Minister unimpressed with health insurer recovery plan

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Prime Minister unimpressed with health insurer recovery plan

08. 03. 2017 13:23

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Robert Fico published a recording of his phone call with director of state-run health insurer Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa (VšZP) on Facebook, in which he lambasted the latter for what he described as a "nonsensical" recovery plan for VšZP. "I don't understand where you get such bosh from," Fico told Miroslav Kočan, adding that it seems as if the measures were recommended to him by former health minister Rudolf Zajac, known for cost-saving measures in health care more than a decade ago, including the unpopular introduction of around 70-cent payments when seeing a doctor. In the phone call, Fico urged Kočan to withdraw a proposal aimed at making up for a €200-million loss posted last year. Kočan wants to save more than €115 million on drugs and reimbursement for health care. For example, it's been reported that VšZP seeks to enact limitations on the coverage of injections for macular degeneration and medicines for hepatitis C. It's also been alleged that VšZP clients who contract the latter disease and happen to have a tattoo or piercing will face limitations in health care in the future - a claim that the insurer scrambled to reject. "If you want to save on someone, you should save on your own people - assistants, cars and buildings, but you won't save on elderly people in need of incontinence pads," said Fico, adding that he'll attempt to garner some money for resolving the situation at VšZP. "The VšZP general director respects the prime minister's stance conveyed in the telephone call. The VšZP managing board will hold a session tomorrow on the issue to decide on a further course of action," VšZP communications department stated after Fico's call.

Gavin Shoebridge, Photo: TASR

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