The government approved on a new regulation that states that patients sets a specific distance within which providers of medical services can be reached and changes the waiting time for certain operation. The directive, that was submitted by Health Minister Leoš Heger and was approved on Wednesday, guarantees that patients should be able to reach their general practioners, dentists, gynecologists, and pharmacies at most within 35 minutes by car, and shortens the maximum waiting period for operations like knee and hip replacements or mammograms. Waiting periods for some medical procedures were increased. Unions, the National Disability Council and the Czech Association of Patients criticized the establishment of a distance for practitioners claiming this will allow health insurance companies to terminate contracts with some doctors and hospitals.
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