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On this page you will find news articles that relate to the CEE Ahead project.
Date: 07 February 2011
Figures from the World Health Organisation show that Hungary has the highest cancer-related mortality rate in Europe. Smoking is a major cause of cancer deaths, especially among men. One in seven Hungarian women develops breast cancer, and in 35-40% of these cases they do not undergo treatment until the cancer is in advanced stages. However, breast cancer deaths have declined in the past 25 years.
Date: 03 February 2011
In a recent study, the Estonian Development Fund concluded that Estonia has growth potential in health tourism. Health tourism is rising as consumers seek low-price, high-quality service with shorter delays. A majority of Europeans, particularly the younger and more educated, say they are willing to consume health care services outside their own country. The Estonian health care system has several features, such as sufficient technological resources, favourable to health tourism.
Date: 31 January 2011
The Czech government agreed to massive pay increases for doctors after 4000 doctors threatened resignation over low salaries. However, the higher pay may lead to closure of hospitals and layoffs of young doctors with less experience. According to the Czech newspaper Mlada fronta Dnes, the Czech Republic has one-third more hospitals than it needs. Hospital closures could bring about improvements in efficiency and quality within the Czech health care system.
Date: 26 January 2011
Slovakia`s Constitutional Court has just ruled that legislation prohibiting private health insurers from paying dividends to shareholders is unconstitutional. The court said the law deprived insurers “of the right to make autonomous decision over the use of their profit”. The legislation, enacted in 2007 by the government of the now opposition leader Robert Fico, was sent to the Constitutional Court for review by members of Slovak parliament from the Christian Democratic Movement in 2008. In answer to the Court`s ruling, Fico has called for further new legislation to prevent “health insurers taking away people`s money”.
Date: 26 January 2011
A report adopted by the European Parliament`s public health committee warned that cuts to health budgets during the economic crisis could widen health disparities across the EU. According to the report`s author, the Portuguese Socialist MEP Edite Estrele, “in some cases, budget cuts and lower tax revenues have led to reduced funding for public health and long-term care services, while demand for these services is increasing”. A recent OECD study identified large health disparities between Eastern and Western Europe in life expectancy and number of medical workers.
Date: 20 January 2011
Health minister Juris Barzdins has said that the elderly and those with chronic conditions take too few pills. He encouraged local governments to cooperate with Health Ministry efforts to encourage general practitioners to prescribe necessary medication and prevent costly hospitalisation.
Date: 19 January 2011
Hungary`s economic reform programme “could include cuts totalling around 30% to the national drug reimbursement bill”. These cuts could save the government $490 million (Ł310 million). In 2010 the national health insurance fund spent $1.7 billion (Ł1.1 billion) on drugs; drug reimbursement comprises an estimated 20% of Hungary`s total health care spending. The government has recently announced incentives for physicians and pharmacists to prescribe and dispense generics. The public health research institute GKI-EKI has warned that further burden on drugmakers may cause some firms to exit the Hungarian market.
Date: 12 January 2011
“Some 11 drugmakers have filed suit against the Czech Republic`s Health Ministry over the setting of maximum prices for their products, and as many as 20 more companies may follow suit.” Czech newspaper Lidove Noviny has reported that the pharmaceutical industry aims to reform how insurance coverage levels are calculated. The lawsuits come as health minister Leoš Heger plans to restrict use of “expensive new medicines”. As thousands of Czech doctors threaten resignation, Heger is proposing cutbacks on funding for new drugs with the savings directed towards doctors` salaries. The proposed reform would also “speed the introduction onto the market of generic drugs”.
Date: 05 January 2011
Slovenian prime minister Borut Pahor and health minister Dorjan Marušič met “to again discuss plans for a reform of the health care system". Consultations within the coalition are taking place in January. A draft bill should be adopted by April 1st. Pahor and Marušič expect that the legislation will be ready for adoption by the summer.
Date: 29 December 2010
As part of the “thank you, we`re leaving” campaign supported by the Czech Doctors` Union (LOK), “some 3650 hospital doctors have handed in resignation notices in protest over low salary levels.” Fulfilling LOK demands would cost an estimated Kč 5 billion (Ł175 million). Czech health minister Leoš Heger has stated that medical care in hospitals will continue and has expressed doubts about doctors finding alternative employment abroad or in the private sector. Regional governors may declare a state of emergency to “oblige doctors to fulfill their professional duties” for up to 30 days.