Kiska: No Progress in Health Care Sector, Drucker Needs Support

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Health Minister Tomas Drucker (left) and President Andrej Kiska

Bratislava, April 19 (TASR) – The health care sector in Slovakia is one of the areas in which solutions are long overdue and that is among the problems that contribute to the rising tide of extremism, President Andrej Kiska said on Wednesday.

While voicing his recognition for the work of incumbent Health Minister Tomas Drucker (a Smer-SD nominee), the president said that “quite a long time” has passed since he took office [in March 2016], but concrete results have yet to come.

“Most people don’t see any changes in the health care sector,” Kiska said after meeting representatives of the Association for the Protection of Patients’ Rights (AOPP). In fact, a sizeable portion of the public believe that “things in the health care sector have changed for the worse”, he said, adding that “the health minister needs society-wide and political support”.

Meanwhile, patients need to be aware of what they’re entitled to in health care coverage, said Kiska and hastened to add that this is not clearly defined at present. This would represent a “tangible benefit that ordinary people would welcome”, he said.

AOPP head Maria Levyova wouldn’t comment on whether a year in office is enough for carrying through tangible changes. By her own admission, however, “a system that has been problematic for decades won’t be changed easily”.

Upon assuming office, Drucker set ambitious objectives for himself, she said. “He should be more vigorous on some issues though, as there’ll always be somebody opposing his proposals, but this is something he needs to be ready for,” said Levyova.

She went on to corroborate Kiska’s claims on the general sense of dissatisfaction with the situation in health care. She admitted that Drucker is facing a difficult situation in having to ensure a well-functioning health care sector despite a shortage of available funding.