According to Válk, people are abusing emergency income, he wants to introduce regulatory fees

According to Válk, people are abusing emergency income, he wants to introduce regulatory fees

According to Vaalek, people are abusing emergency income, he wants to establish st regulatory fees

Minister of Health Vlastimil Válek, December 19, 2022.

Prague – According to the Minister of Health Vlastimil Válk (TOP 09), people abuse the emergency income of hospitals. He therefore wants to introduce regulatory fees, he told Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD). The fee could be paid, for example, by patients who do not first go to a general practitioner, but go straight to a medical facility. The minister expects specific proposals from the National Economic Council of the Government (NERV).

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People currently pay 90 crowns for using medical and dental emergency services. In addition to emergency rooms, however, the Czech Republic also has emergency services for medical facilities, which, according to Válk, people overuse. “Regulation of emergency services is needed, many people go there unnecessarily,” Válek told the newspaper.

The minister considers it unacceptable that doctors on the receiving end decide who should pay. “There should be a clear definition in advance, whether people who arrive by ambulance will be exempted from this,” said Válek.

Válek says that visits to general practitioners should not be charged. “I can rather imagine that the patient will pay for not going to the practitioner first, but directly to the medical facility,” said Válek. He pointed out that the availability of practitioners is not the same everywhere, and therefore it would be incorrect to punish a person who does not have one for going straight to the hospital.

Czechs started paying regulatory fees in January 2008 – 30 crowns for a doctor's appointment and for an item on a prescription, 60 crowns for a day in a hospital and 90 crowns for an emergency room. The individual fees then changed over time and disappeared. For the last time, since January 2015, the obligation to pay 30 kroner fees in ambulances and pharmacies has ceased to exist. All that remained was a fee of 90 crowns at the emergency room.

Some doctors, especially gynecologists and dentists, still collect money from their patients even for procedures covered by health insurance companies. According to Válk, insurance companies should handle such cases. “A lot of things are happening that are illegal. And the person who runs such an activity should be prosecuted,” the minister said on Thursday to the Deník N server.

In Válk's opinion, collecting fees for services paid by insurance companies is not in the Czech Republic as a widespread phenomenon. He called such cases a kind of tax for democracy. “If we had a dictatorship, the enlightened dictator would go and shut down the doctors who break the law and collect some illegal fees,” Válek said.