Country's biggest health insurer under forced administration

10-11-2005

Health Minister David Rath has imposed forced administration on VZP, the largest state-owned Czech health insurance company. The minister said the company was not fulfilling its legal obligations and had been given enough time to try to resolve its problems. This chiefly relates to its steep debt which now stands at close to 14 billion crowns (just over 570 million US dollars).

The step has been criticised by the opposition right-of-centre Civic Democrats. Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who is on a state visit to India, issued a statement on Thursday calling the move unjustified and destabilising, expressing fears that the forced administration could worsen the VZP's financial situation.