Minister's health plans fail to convince

Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin has presented his proposals to cut health costs to representatives of political parties and healthcare bodies.

This content was published on May 11, 2009 - 19:56

Couchepin, whose responsibilities include health, is preparing an amendment to the current law on health insurance to be sent to parliament before the summer break. Under the Swiss system, interested parties are always consulted when new legislation is underway.

Two of Couchepin's proposals have already aroused strong criticism. One is that patients should pay a fee of SFr30 ($27) every time they visit their family doctor, and the other is the introduction of phone consultations.

Many of the 80 participants at the meeting repeated their opposition to these plans. Doctors' organisations are particularly concerned about them.

The meeting was also criticised by many of those involved for being too hasty.

Couchepin's spokesman said the minister was satisfied with the conference, and that the various opinions expressed would be considered.

Interested parties have until the end of the week to make written submissions about the proposed new law. The ministry wants to present the package of legislation to the cabinet by the end of May. with agencies

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