President Klaus signs first phase of health reform into law

President Klaus has signed into law the first phase of the government’s health reform. The bill will introduce direct payments for above standard health care, increase the fee for a day in hospital from the present 60 to 100 crowns and increase patients’ financial participation in other ways. For instance drugs costing less than 50 crowns will no longer be covered by health insurance. It is estimated that the reform will enable the state to collect approximately 8 billion crowns more next year. The reform has come under fire from the opposition which argues that it will create a two-tier system of health care and disadvantage the socially weaker groups of the population.