Pellegrini Hopes Fico Changes View on Stratification, Smer-SD Still in Talks

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Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 27 (TASR) – Smer-SD party holds talks on the form in which the stratification bill is to be submitted to Parliament, TASR learnt on Friday.

“We’re talking and seeking consensus on the bill’s form in which the stratification of hospitals will be submitted, while placing emphasis on two fundamental goals – this must not endanger patients and cause the shutting down of hospitals,” stated Smer-SD spokesman Jan Mazgut.

Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) believes that the story of hospital reform might still have a happy ending and declared that he wouldn’t be able to sleep well, if he were to deep-six a healthy reform of the Slovak hospitals. Slovak patients deserve no less than a functioning health care.

The reform is heading to Parliament even in the face of rejection from Smer-SD chair Robert Fico, as it’s not in the form of constitutional amendment that Fico originally demanded. After talks with Fico and party caucus members, however, Pellegrini feels that there are reasonable odds that Smer-SD might come around and join the broader political consensus.

Earlier in the day, the Government approved the proposed Act on Health-care Providers, which will bring a reform of Slovak hospitals. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to concentrate specialised health care and some types of operations in hospitals where they have the skills and experience needed to provide them, thereby ensuring better quality health care. Pellegrini pointed out that the reform does not mean closing hospitals.