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Slovak patients use health services less since charges were imposed

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7418.769 (Published 02 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:769
  1. Katka Krosnar
  1. Prague

    Slovak health minister Rudolf Zajac has said that a new payment system whereby patients contribute towards the cost of medical treatment has been a huge success in cutting unnecessary visits to doctors.

    Since charges were introduced in June, the number of visits to general practitioners has fallen by 30%, and the numbers of appointments for specialists and of hospital stays have been cut by 25%.

    “We had to act to stop abuse of the health system. I am pleased that we have managed to significantly cut unnecessary visits to doctors, while the level of charges means that it will not discourage people who …

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