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Health premiums to rise moderately

Interior Minister Didier Burkhalter says price cuts for drugs and laboratory tests are a key factor in minimising the increase in health premiums.

He added that higher patient contributions for hospital stays, as well as limiting the free choice of doctors were also important to keep health costs in check in the future.

Burkhalter on Wednesday announced that the average health insurance premium will increase by 2.2 per cent next year, albeit with considerable differences for certain age groups and geographical regions.

Health insurance, which has been mandatory since 1996, has become a major financial burden on many individuals and families.

Politicians, doctors, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry and private health insurance companies have been at loggerheads over plans to reduce health costs.

Parliament earlier this month agreed to promote a system encouraging doctors networks, known as Managed Care, but the bill is likely to be challenged to a nationwide vote. and agencies

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