Health minister in favour of more direct payments

The health minister, Leos Heger, has expressed himself in favour of more direct payments from patients. The minister said that in view of the current economic situation patients should be asked to contribute to standard care which is currently financed by health insurance companies. He said he saw no reason why patients should not pay for a standard filling at the dentist and has suggested that a patient’s contribution towards a day in hospital could be increased from 60 to 100 crowns. Former deputy health minister Marek Snajder of the Civic Democrats has expressed support for the idea, saying that on average Czechs still forked out more for alcohol and cigarettes than they paid for health care.