Final Word from Wednesday, January 21, 2004





Health Minister Marie Součková has vowed to resign if her healthcare proposal fails to pass, and she'll likely get to fulfill her promise. Her plan has little sup-port. It contains some good ideas, such as eliminating under-used facilities and making patients more responsible for the services they use. However, its basic premise is that the problem can be resolved by making people pay more. According to CEO Jiřina Musílková of VZP health insurer, employees are paying an average of Kč 2,000 per month in health tax. Many of them would gladly pay more out of their pocket for the actual prescriptions, drugs and medical services they receive, but only if the health tax were decreased. Součková, though, wants everyone to pay more. The health tax needs to be primarily about giving patients the treatment they need instead of funding a bloated health-insurance system.

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