Tripartite talks between the government, the unions and employers on Thursday failed to produce a consensus on planned changes in health care, namely a closer definition of standard patient care – as covered by insurance companies – and higher quality service for those willing to pay extra, whether for brand-name medicines, materials or other services. The division between standard and extra care is a key component in the government’s planned reforms. But those have so far been rejected by the unions; on Thursday the chairman of the ČMKOS union, Jaroslav Zavadil, said that additional funds for the sector needed to be found and should be a priority but he charged the government’s cost-cutting measures came at the expense of patients.
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