Largest Czech Health Insurer VZP Runs Out of Cash

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The Largest Czech health insurer, state-controlled General Health Insurance (VZP), says it is spending all income as soon as it is received and its reserves would not cover even two days of operation: as a result, the insurer says it may make late payments to doctors’ surgeries and hospitals for patient treatment — and pledges to raise doctors salaries may have to be abandoned.

Link to the article:

This article was listed in the 17 October, 2011 issue of the PHM Emerging Markets Healthcare News Feed.


The doctor’s pay raises are the least important issue in this story.

How is it VZP, the CEE’s storied health insurance company of the past 15 years ends up “penniless?”

Corruption? Mismanagement? Ineptitude?

None of these words are too strong in wondering about the sorry state of affairs at VZP.

“With the center-right Czech coalition government, and first and foremost the Finance Ministry, determined to keep budget spending under control and the growing realization that draft 2012 budget revenue forecasts are most probably too high, it is unlikely that extra funds from the state coffers will be allocated to shore up VZP’s finances.”

“Shore up VZP’s finances”? I’m flabbergasted.

VZP is an insurance company and it is time for it to start behaving like one……

I’m not sure if I can convey the seriousness of this situation because this story encapsulates all that is wrong with the politics of healthcare in the whole of the CEE.

Time and time again reformers have tried to implement change in the Czech Republic health financing system. How is it that the sector’s organizational chart still looks like 1985?

Shock therapy for the health sector? It might be necessary in light of current fiscal reality in Europe……HK

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On October 20, 2011
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