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On this page you will find news articles that relate to the CEE Ahead project.
Date: 18 August 2009
A recent poll, conducted by the Federation of Hungarian Private Health Funds and the marketing department of Corvinus University, has uncovered that doctors and nurses are pocketing unofficial and untaxed sums. It is believed that patients in Hungary pay a total of €269.49 million each year for additional costs to doctors and nurses for preferential treatment. This occurs with hospital, family physician and outpatient visits. Tips are thought to span between HUF 1,000 and HUF 500,000 (€4 to €2,000). For instance, an average of HUF 28,500 (€114) is paid by hospital patients to their providers. The survey revealed that numbers had increased in the past three years and believes figures will continue to increase in the future.
Date: 17 August 2009
A patient database that costs CZK 170 million (just over €6 million) is to be abandoned after it was declared illegal in a report issued by the Office for Personal Data Protection. The electronic prescription system was originally introduced to help prescriptions for patients undergoing lengthy treatment but it soon became clear that it was also retaining information that was not relevant to its purpose, including extensive data on normal prescriptions. In defence, the State Institute for Drug Control claims it required the information to monitor the side effect of drugs. The Institute wishes to relaunch the database after an appeal against the reports findings which must conclude before the end of August.
Date: 14 August 2009
On the appointment of his new team in the health ministry, the Bulgarian Health Minister, Dr Bozidhar Nanev, has introduced a second pillar of health insurance to help “kick-start” necessary reforms. Given the current financial situation, he has highlighted the recent problems that exist within the Bulgarian national insurance system: shortages in funding, as many as one million uninsured citizens, and a large amount of medical services that the state cannot afford to cover. Therefore, under the new proposals, the health ministry wishes to replace some of the contributions from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) with private suppliers. However private contributors say they are unable to participate until 2011. It is unsure when the reforms will come into force but Nanev has said they will be sent to the parliament for a vote this year.
Date: 13 August 2009
Audits of contracts between National Health Fund and medical centres in Poland indicate that there is some overlap of doctors, with many working in multiple hospitals at the same time. On paper, some doctors even hold up to twenty-five different placements and work several hundred hours a week. The result is a severe strain on the state budget. The extent of doctors’ movements also means an increase in patient waiting times.
Date: 11 August 2009
The Chairman of the Czech National Disability Council (NRZP), Vaclav Krasa, has announced that his country’s mental healthcare was “bad”, with 90% of all mentally-ill patients being passed on to mental clinics without receiving proper out-patient care. Psychiatric hospitals, where the mentally-ill are involuntarily hospitalised, continue to be criticised for not giving their patients proper privacy during bathroom breaks and not having enough information on each patient for diagnosis. According to a study conducted by Lucie Rybova, a lawyer from a civic association protecting the rights of patients, a third of patients were not informed about their diagnosis and over a quarter were not informed about the medicines they were treated with.
Date: 10 August 2009
Nurses from the Specialized Hospital in Radom, Poland, are entering day six of their protest demanding an increase in pay. Hospital management has argued that a salary increase would not be possible considering the financial debt the hospital is currently in. Sunday’s negotiations with the hospital management did not solve issues after the nurses rejected the management’s offer.
Date: 04 August 2009
The Czech Institute for Medical Information and Statistics recently exposed that foreigners owe Czech Hospitals almost 45million crown (about 2 and a half million US dollars) for past treatments. These treatments were paid either via cash by the patient or out of health insurance, however, foreign patients have only managed to pay for fewer than 40% of their total costs. About half of the patients treated in Czech hospitals came from EU countries.
Date: 03 August 2009
The Social Insurance Company (ZUS) in Poland wants to reduce the number of sick benefits by monitoring people who are taking sick leave and the general practitioners who are granting leave. Since the financial crisis broke out, more people have taken sick leave in order to escape redundancy; finding it more profitable than claiming benefits. The ZUS, who funds all healthcare benefits, paid almost an extra 50% towards sick benefits between 2008 and 2009, contributing to its already unstable budget. Any person taking illegal sick leave will face paying back the money and returning to work while any doctor issuing false sick leave forms may lose the right to issue similar documents in future.
Date: 24 June 2009
The Czech health ministry agreed to a number of changes to its health reform project, which had aroused fierce opposition from trade unions, employer federations and several parliamentary factions.