|Home \ Conferences and Programmes \ Health and Welfare \ CEE Ahead \ CEE News|
On this page you will find news articles that relate to the CEE Ahead project.
Date: 16 June 2010
The Strategic Alliance for Hungarian Hospitals has proposed the idea of a “hamburger tax” to the Economy Minister and State Secretary for Healthcare. The HUF 10 surtax would be applicable to “unhealthy” products such as alcohol, tobacco, hamburgers and soft drinks. The surtax stems from the principle that consumers who willingly purchase unhealthy products should contribute to their future healthcare costs. Gábor Csiba, president of the association, claims that the tax could generate enough revenue to cover Hungary’s HUF 100 billion healthcare budget deficit.
Date: 16 June 2010
The Czech Medical Chamber has announced that it is advising hospital physicians to quit their jobs by the end of 2010 unless significant pay raises are issued. The association believes that a 40 percent pay increase should be sufficient in deterring doctors from leaving the country. Each year, approximately 250 doctors leave the Czech Republic to seek jobs elsewhere, leaving hospitals highly understaffed. The Civic Democrats (ODS), the TOP 09, and Public Affairs (VV), who are in the midst of a coalition agreement, are scheduled to release a detailed healthcare reform plan in July.
Date: 15 June 2010
Healthcare issues are turning out to be a major focal point of this Sunday’s presidential elections in Poland, held early to replace Lech Kaczyński, who died in a plane crash on April 10. Bronislaw Komorowski, of the centre-right Civic Platform party, supports moving towards a somewhat more decentralised system, including holding local authorities responsible for hospitals. His opponent, leader of the right-wing Law and Justice Party, Jarosław Kaczyński, wants to leave the system as it is. A dispute over a statement by Kaczynski that his opponent wanted to privatise the healthcare system was taken to the Warsaw District Court this week. The Court has ruled that Kaczynski was not speaking truthfully and must publicly correct his statement.
Date: 15 June 2010
Ivan Kostov and Martin Dimitrov, leaders of Bulgaria’s right-wing Blue Coalition, have said they will refuse to support the 2010 budget plan unless the cabinet meets their demands, mainly related to budget cuts for healthcare . Initially, the health budget cut was set to be in the order of 160 million Bulgarian lev (BGN), but in response to protests, Health Minister Simeon Djankov has pledged that the cutback would instead be around BGN 106 million. Kostov and Dimitrov are reportedly still unhappy with the plan to decrease the budget for medications by BGN 26 million and by BGN 115 million for treatments and diagnostics.
Date: 14 June 2010
Jan Fischer, prime minister of the Czech Republic, announced the approval of the Czech Republic’s first national strategy for rare diseases. Diseases are classified as rare when fewer than five in 10,000 people have one. Out of the 10.5 million living in the Czech Republic, approximately 20,000 are registered as having a rare disease. The 2010-2020 national strategy will strive to secure proper diagnostic treatment for patients and concentrate their medical care within 10 to 20 centres.
Date: 09 June 2010
The European Commission (EC) has said that the payment by some regional authorities of healthcare fees constitutes “unfair public support”. In response, regional officials have vouched that the practice will cease by the end of June. Last year, regional governments spent 480 million Czech koruna (Kč) in health fees, covering doctors’ visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions. Members of what will likely be the new administration (expected to be formed of three coalition parties, Civic Democrats (ODS), Public Affairs (VV), and TOP 09) believe that in response to the budget cutbacks, patients should be taking a fiscal responsibility in contributing to healthcare costs. The expected coalition has already agreed to define new limits on public healthcare spending and to increases in the amount of wages held for health insurance.
Date: 20 May 2010
A national poll confirms that Czech people are not willing to pay directly in cash for higher standard or extra care, but a quarter would pay for extra health insurance. Right wing voters showed the strongest support for supplemental insurance – 62% of Civic Democrat voters would pay for extra insurance as compared to 25% of Social Democrat voters. At present, patients cannot legally pay for a higher quality treatment than what is recommended by their doctor. Almost all care is covered via public health insurance; higher standard services are accessed mainly through bribes or “gifts” to a hospital.
Date: 19 May 2010
The Czech Doctors’ Union (LOK-SCL) has threatened that its members will hand in notices by the end of the year unless the union’s wage demands are met. The LOK-SCL is calling for a unified system of calculating doctors’ wages, with new doctors being paid 215 crowns (€8.30) per hour and experienced doctors 430 crowns (€16.60) (compared to the present wages of 100 (€3.87) and 200 (€7.74) crowns, respectively). The health ministry has said that the union’s demand is “beyond reality and beyond the indebted country’s possibilities”. It also said that the ministry prefers that doctors be paid according to skill and performance.
Date: 18 May 2010
The Health Insurance Institute (ZZZS), which manages the public healthcare budget, has adopted several savings measures in an effort to cut €24 million in healthcare expenditure, especially related to hospital services. This comes after a discouraging revelation of the state of the public healthcare purse. Members of the parliamentary Health Care Committee have called for a re-evaluation of the range of services covered by public health insurance.
Date: 11 May 2010
A survey and study by Ipsos and Reuters about views of health care suggests that among 22 countries, Hungarians have one of the lowest levels of trust in their ability to receive proper and affordable healthcare services. While 75% of Swedes said that they would easily get quality and affordable treatment in case of illness, only 1 in 6 Hungarians said they believed they would get proper treatment easily.