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MPs approve registry of health services covered by insurers

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Prague, March 9 (CTK) – The Czech Chamber of Deputies yesterday passed an amendment to the health care law that establishes a registry of health services covered by insurers and modernises other databases as a step to make the system transparent, in spite of the critics’ warning that the bill may endanger personal data.
The bill will now be submitted to the upper house of parliament for discussion.
Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek (Social Democrats, CSSD) says the bill enables to introduce an effective system of health care assessment.
The right-wing opposition, however, questioned the reliability of the bill’s protection of personal data.
Former health minister Leos Heger (TOP 09) called the registry “a Big Brother.”
The preservation of patients’ identity numbers is unnecessary for the registry’s purpose, he said.
Civic Democrat (ODS) lawmaker Bohuslav Svoboda spoke about the disclosure of personal data that would infringe upon people’s integrity.
The bill was also criticised by Ludvik Hovorka, a deputy from the junior government Christian Democratic Union (KDU-CSL).
“It is impossible to evaluate [the bill’s] protection of personal data,” Hovorka said.
He called the bill anti-constitutional and unsuccessfully proposed its rejection by the lower house.
Nemecek previously dismissed the criticism and said ironically that many would definitely mind health care becoming transparent.
He asserted that the volume of collected data would not increase under the new law, and the data protection would be “robust.”
The bill is one of foundation stones of the necessary changes in the health sector, Nemecek said in parliament yesterday.
The bill was passed by the votes of 140 of 179 deputies present. It was oppoosed by 35 deputies, all members of TOP 09 and the ODS, plus Hovorka.
The bill binds health insurers to send data such as on the provided treatment, the patient and the price paid from public insurance, to the National registry of covered health services, which will be operated by the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (UZIS).
The bill also establishes the National diabetology registry and the National intensive care registry.

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