Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman supported Finance Minister Andrej Babis's (ANO) criticism of the health care sector´s spending, in an interview with CTK today.
Prezident Miloš Zeman poskytl 9. dubna na Pražském hradě rozhovor ČTK u příležitosti 10. výročí vstupu České republiky do Evropské unie. ČTK Šimánek Vít
Zeman criticised hospitals´ purchases of expensive equipment that was not urgently needed and overpriced medicines.
On the contrary, Zeman appreciated that Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek (Social Democrats, CSSD) had dismissed State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL) head Pavel Brezovsky in February. Nemecek justified the step by saying Brezovsky was a poor manager.
"Health care is a black hole into which billions of crowns are being poured. I have unnecessary devices and overpriced medicines in mind," Zeman told CTK.
Zeman also hailed Nemecek´s decision to restore the commission assessing the purchases of equipment for hospitals.
Zeman shared the same views of the health care sector as Babis.
Babis previously said in his opinion, a number of suspicious contracts had been signed in the sector in the past.
He also expressed regret that his movement had not been charged with heading the Health Ministry and said ANO mistrusted Nemecek.
The emergency committee of hospitals, health care workers´ unions and patients met to discuss Babis on Monday.
The committee called on him to keep his promise and compensate hospitals from the state budget for the scrapped patients´ fees. Hospitals will lose 2.1 billion crowns in 2014 due to the abolition of the 100-crown fee per day of hospitalisation.
Zeman told CTK today that the coalition agreement expected the compensation to be covered by the rise in state health insurance payments for children, students, pensioners and the unemployed in 2014.
However, Nemecek demanded a higher, four-billion-crown compensation in 2015, Zeman recalled, adding that he would meet Nemecek to discuss the problem soon.