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News > Press Releases 2014 > Czech bill on foreigners' health insurance is bad

Czech bill on foreigners' health insurance is bad

24. 07. 2014

The Defender (ombudsman) Anna Šabatova is convinced that the draft of the bill on foreigners' health insurance is completely bad and has so many shortcomings that it is incorrigible.

The draft largely plays into the hands of commercial health insurance companies while it does not integrate foreigners in the system of public health insurance. On the ombudsman’s opinion the draft of the bill should not be passed.

At the press conference the ombudsman said the integration of foreigners in the system of public health insurance would help not only foreigners staying in the country, but also the state and health facilities that must pay the health care which commercial insurers do not cover.

The integration of foreigners in the system of public health insurance has long been called for by the Government's Human Rights Council and the control bodies of international human rights conventions and the previous ombudsman also called for it.

The draft of the bill excludes foreigners doing business as self-employed persons in the Czech Republic and foreigners who have ended their employment and take sickness benefits or a family allowance from public health insurance.

The ombudsman criticises the fact, that foreigners are a welcome prey for the insurance companies and the insurance is inappropriately expensive. In addition, the insurers refuse to insure certain diseases or the insurance is so expensive that people cannot afford it. Typical example is the early birth of a child, when parents finally leave the maternity clinic with debts amounting to hundreds of thousands of crowns which they have no chance of settling. This results in a burden for the health facilities which have to pay the health care.

The ombudsman added that the foreigners are usually young people who work in the Czech Republic, which means that their integration would benefit public health insurance companies and consequently the health care system as well.

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