Christian Democrats say time to reopen debate on bringing back hospital fees

The Christian Democrats, a junior party in the centre-left government, say the government should reopen debate on bringing back hospital fees. Hospital fees were scrapped as of the start of this year by a ruling of the Constitutional Court which upheld a complaint that they were unconstitutional in view of the fact that patients are already paying health insurance. However hospitals argue that the money was used for food and accommodation services unrelated to health care and say the fall out is proving a massive financial burden. While the 100-crown fee per day was in force, hospitals collected about 2.1 billion crowns annually from patients for these expenditures. The government is now considering ways of making up for the loss. A proposal that the money should come from government reserves has not won broad approval.