A Return to Monopoly Health Insurance?

Prime Minister Robert Fico is determined to extinguish private health insurers from the health system in Slovakia, with the latest concept being to buy out the two remaining private health insurers on the market.

Prime Minister Robert Fico (c) The Daily.sk

PM Fico previously banged profit bans on health insurers, which led to lawsuits against the state, and now he says the government is willing to negotiate with the foreign owners of Union and Dovera on a possible takeover deal. Fico feels the state should sell off shares in other undertakings that “it simply doesn’t need” in order to make this possible.

Mr Fico is hoping Slovakia will have a single monopoly health insurer, just like in the good old days, and so made his public proclamation that the government wanted to hold talks with the insurers about the feasibility and terms of such an arrangement. If it proves feasible and the price is right, Fico says Slovakia should start the process.


  1. Dave has an excellent idea. Here in Canada there is no such thing as Private Health insurance. our taxes simply pay for all required hospital care and doctors visits and surgeries. We can buy supplemental private insurance to get coverage for massage or accupuncture or physiotherapy.
    A small nation such as Slovakia never needed or requires multiple FOR Profit Insurance companies. These companies were part of the rapid USA capitalism that has run roughshod over Eastern Europe.
    Cheers to Fico and hopefully they do implement a simple national insurance plan that takes premiums directly from paycheques and these privateers robbing the country and the people are put in their place…..they can go to the USA and continue raping that country instead

  2. I see you point Dave and I agree. The health service here really does need a good shake up and the insurance company are just looking for a quick profit and not caring about the patients. But I think what the goverment is planning will not work and the doctors and hospital will suffer and well as the SK patients.

    1. Ian – you can bet your last cent that whatever transpires will be a bag of rags. Bobby’s intitial idea proposes forming a single “insurance company” which will no doubt involve tiers of pen-pushers and non-jobs draining money from where it is really needed. The sooner this country moves away from the ideas that “Bigger is better” and “More chiefs than Indians” the better things will run.

      1. But his idea is that he control it all and then give jobs to yes men who do nothing and then the SK people suffer then the election comes along the next goverment reverse everthing and more wasted money and so on.

        1. Oh so true, Ian. The yoyo politics of this country are most probably what are holding it back from any real improvement.

  3. Ian – My comment was regarding the collection of contributions NOT the provision of health care. The “insurances companies” here just collect the money, take their cut and then eventually distribute whats left – they are not involved in the direct provision of medical services. The point I was trying to make is, with a small population, Slovakia should employ a single revenue collection system utilising the facilities already in place rather than the current job creation scheme.
    How that revenue is spent is another matter , however I believe the Sk Health Care sector is in need of a major shake-up and the govt. would be in a better position to start that process if it had control of all the funds.
    The farce many patients faced this week when, despite having made their “insurance payments”, they were presented with bills for medical treatment because the “insurers” had not agreed payments to the doctors and hospitals, just illustrates the failings of the present system.
    Private Health Service providers may see the Sk as a potential market but they haven’t arrived in droves yet, have they?

  4. This is a good idea Dave but didn’t they try this in the UK and the hospital ended up in debt because the NI didn’t cover the cost and then needed to turn to private investors to cover the debt leading to a two tier health service.

  5. Bobby has a good idea here but as usual the detail of his proposal is unduly complicated, why only he knows.
    With a population smaller than most major European cities the Sk does not need “insurance companies” for health or pensions. If, as he proposes, he is going to use money raised by selling state share holdings to “buy out” the private companies then why not bring the collection of all these revenues under one roof, namely the Tax Office with SOME additional staff. Scrap all these piddling little payments here and there and replace them all with National Insurance, deducted at source along with income tax. Employer contributions can be collected at the same time and the self employed can be assessed for a minimum monthly contribution based on their last tax declaration and adjusted at the year end.
    The Tax Office can then apportion the money to the relevent govt. departments. People who wish to make additional contributions towards pensions etc. should be able to do so through payroll or regular payments or use the services of a private pensions company, adequately bonded.
    By bringing all the money due to the state into one system he will at a stroke remove the profit orienteered commercial sector from health and pensions, be able to accurately forecast income against proposed budget expenditure and ensure that the population is adequately covered for health care and pensions provision. Productivity would also improve as workers would no longer be obliged to attend the clueless insurance offices, a task that involves taking at least half a day off work just to get some basic info.
    K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid – A message that I hope someone will listen to.

  6. … (the mobile comment form is borked on android) as much as the doofy state socialists, but of course that is not on the Serious People menu.

  7. Better that the health ministry and all related legislation — including medical licensing and drug control — be abolished. The “insurer” parasites would hate it

  8. What always amazes me about SMER is that they not only in election time have idiotic plans.

  9. “just like in the good old days”???? You mean under Socialism? If they want a Monopoly shouldn’t all the members of these companies be informed and be able to vote on it? If we are paying, shouldn’t we have a choice of what level of insurance we receive? You pay more to get more, if you cannot afford it, stand in line like the rest! I fear what the health system will do, look at the walk outs last year over pay! Sad!

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