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19. 11. 2008 10:57

November 19, 2008: Government Approves Health Care Legislation and Measures to Support Families with Children

The Government has agreed on changes in its health-care legislation, approved amendments in support of families, and a simplified version of security vetting. Premier Mirek Topolánek said after the Government meeting that further discussions on changes in the Czech health care system will be held in the House of Deputies. 

“I am leaving today’s Government meeting highly satisfied because - with the exception of the Public Health Insurance Bill - we have approved all the health care laws,“ said the Prime Minister. In his opinion, the Government has reached an agreement that should guarantee all the coalition votes to be cast for the new health-care legislation: “We expect further debates during the second reading in the House of Deputies because this is a very complex matter,“ added the Premier.

Czech Health Minister Tomáš Julínek expects that by next Monday’s Government meeting the new law will be ready in a wording the Government will be in a position to send to the House of Deputies with all the other amendments: “What remains to be solved is one section of the Public Health Insurance Bill where we expect a new formulation of demands from the public health insurance sector for free health care as part of the entire public health insurance system. I hope an agreement will be reached,“ said Minister Julínek. 

Government Agrees To Support Active Fatherhood

The key purpose of the changes is to facilitate greater flexibility in maternity and parent leave and to strengthen the role of the father in looking after the child. “The father will be able to take - six weeks after the birth of the child - one week parent holiday,“ Petr Ne?as, the Minister for Labour and Social Affairs, told a press conference. Another goal of the amendments is to introduce greater possibilities of flexible job commitments and working hours and the possibility of enhancing employers´ motivation for employing parents bringing up their children. 

The Government has also approved amendments to a law on classified information. “This particular amendment shortens the deadlines for granting security clearance, introducing a whole number of instruments reducing the administrative burden on applicants for security clearance,“ the Premier added to the amendment. In practice, this means a reduction in the number of data required by the National security vetting procedures from the applicants. Our effort is the broadest possible application of the principle that “the information already available to state authorities should not be required from citizens or businessmen“ 

The Government has also approved an amendment to the tax code aimed at replacing the outdated act on the administration of fees (more in a document here), the Ministers have also passed a motion by deputies to include among the current red-letter days of the Czech Republic also June 30, as the “Day of the Departure of the Occupation Forces from the Territory of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic“.

Jana Bartošová, press spokesperson of the Government of the Czech Republic

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