Prague - The Czech government today approved the cancellation of the 30-crown fee that patients pay for a prescription and for a visit to a doctor as of January 2015, Health Ministry spokesman Jan Stoll told CTK.
The only fee that would remain in the Czech health care system is 90 crowns per visit to an emergency ward.
Stoll said the cancellation of the health care fees was the first point on the agenda of the cabinet today because Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) wanted to be present and he had to leave the meeting prematurely because of his other duties.
Sobotka´s centre-left government promised to cancel the fees in health care, except for the fee for visiting the emergency ward, in its policy statement.
As of January, the Constitutional Court cancelled the 100-crown fee per day in hospital. The court was not against the reintroduction of a 60-crown fee per day in hospital, which was paid in the past, but Sobotka´s government decided not to reintroduce it.
The Health Ministry said previously that hospitals would lose 2.1 billion crowns in 2014 due to this cancellation.
The ministry also said the increase in the state payments of the compulsory health insurance for children, pensioners and the unemployed would compensate for the cancelled fees for visiting a doctor´s office and handing in a prescription in a pharmacy.
Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek (CSSD) has been seeking other ways of saving money in the health care system to avoid hospitals and other facilities running into debt.