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Healthy teeth only for the rich. Slovaks are furious, they will no longer receive an allowance for treatment

Dental hygiene, dental filling or braces. Under certain conditions, Slovak health insurance companies contribute to all this within the framework of the benefits system. And people use these posts a lot. But it will only be valid until the end of April. After that, the dental benefits end, announced the Slovak Ministry of Health. A wave of resentment has risen among the people, and even experts are criticizing the decision.

Dental hygiene, dental filling or braces. Under certain conditions, Slovak health insurance companies contribute to all this within the framework of the benefits system. And people use these posts a lot. But it will only be valid until the end of April. Illustrative image

| Photo: Shutterstock

Slovakian Petra Kuglerová, living in the west of the country, tries to take care of her teeth and the teeth of her two young children. That’s why she likes to use the benefit that she eats offered by the health insurance company – contributions to dental hygiene and tooth repair. This benefit is generally the most popular among Slovaks and, due to the rising prices of procedures at dentists, also the most used.

But now it ends. A few days ago, the Ministry of Health announced that people will only be able to claim dental benefits until the end of April.

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Slovaks were taken by surprise by this decision, and the cancellation was met with a great wave of criticism. Kugler joined her. “I’m very disappointed that they’re going to cancel the benefits because dental expenses are high for a family of four,” said the young woman Diary.

Unnecessary benefit?

Slovak health insurance companies provided the insured with the opportunity to pay for dental hygiene, dental fillings, dental bridges or braces for children if certain conditions were met (passing a preventive check-up) from 2019. The benefit for individuals ranged in the order of tens of euros per year. The system of these rewards was supposed to motivate people to regular preventive examination.

What is happening in Slovakia?Source: DiaryAnd it worked. According to the data obtained by the Slovak Markíza TV from the Association of Health Insurance Companies of the Slovak Republic, 621,909 Slovaks used dental benefits last year. Hand in hand with this, the number of people who went to dentists for a preventive inspection in order to reach the reward.

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But now, after consultation with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Health has proposed to insurance companies to cancel dental benefits by the end of April. According to representatives of the Ministry of Health, it no longer fulfills its purpose. “The educational potential of increasing preventive examinations through the dental benefit has been exhausted, it is necessary to reevaluate it and find new versions of the benefits.” she declared Slovak Minister of Health Zuzana Dolinková.

Only for the rich

However, this step enraged the Slovaks. For many of them, it will happen without a contribution quality dental care essentially unavailable. “According to the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, prices at dentists rose by almost a fifth last year,” noted the Slovak daily Truth.

There is a risk that people will stop going to dental hygiene, for example, because they cannot afford it. “Many people live literally from hand to mouth, and dental treatment is becoming a privilege of the rich,” Mária Lévyová, president of the Slovak Association for the Protection of Patients’ Rights, told the newspaper.

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Analyst Dušan Zachar then mentioned to Markíza television that although canceling benefits will save the ministry money in the short term, this step can have serious consequences in the long term. In the case of prevention, which many people went for only because of the benefits, it often comes to the fore in time more serious health problemsthe later solution of which can be much more expensive for the state and more unpleasant for people.

Slovakians still have other benefits, such as contributions for the purchase of prescription glasses or payment of vaccinations against ticks.

A similar system of dental benefits also operates in the Czech Republic. Here, too, health insurance companies motivate preventive measures dental care for example by offering grants for dental hygiene.

At neighboursAt neighboursSource: Diary

Rubric With neighbors

Nowadays, we often know much more about what is happening on the other side of the world than what is happening close to our borders, in the neighboring countries of the Czech Republic. That’s why we decided to bring you in a light form every Sunday news about what’s going on in this place “at neighbours“, i.e. on Slovakiain Poland, Germany and Austria.

You will be informed by people who either live in the given countries, such as Eliška Gáfriková in Slovakia, Martin Kratochvíl in Poland, or work near the borders, such as Alexandr Vanžura in Děčín, or Iva Haghofer near the Austrian border in South Moravia. We thank Mr. Vladimír Majer for the inspiration to create the column. Sometimes I, the European editor Luboš Palata, will contribute a Central European perspective to the column.

We wish you a nice Sunday reading.

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