CZECH REPUBLIC: Health insurer VZP to save CZK 67m by buying IZIP site

2 October 2013 —
The Czech General Health Insurance Company (VZP) will save 67 million crowns a year by buying the controversial IZIP server via which it communicates with patients and for whose operation it has annually paid 72 million crowns to the IZIP company, VZP director Zdenek Kabatek said Sunday.

The VZP will buy the server for 59 million crowns and its operation would cost it five million a year, Kabatek said in an interview on Czech Television (CT).

Kabatek said the VZP board has approved the decision under which the VZP should acquire the IZIP server as from December 31.

The VZP spent almost two billion crowns on the IZIP project, including patients' electronic files, in the past ten years, but it has failed to make it widespread.

People consider the e-health files system a clearly unsuccessful project.

The electronic files, registering data on the VZP clients' health, illnesses and medicines used, still remain in possession of the IZIP company, in which the VZP has a 51 percent stake.

A way to solve the situation is being sought in negotiations. Kabatek said the talks with the IZIP company and its minority owner, eHI eHealth International, may lead to an agreement and mutual compensation.

Some time ago, the VZP board decided that the VZP will not seek a 100-percent ownership of IZIP, which was originally pondered as one of a few possible solutions.

Kabatek said he would not comment on the VZP's way of withdrawing from the IZIP e-files project as it would be too early to comment on it in detail.

"It must be an operation in which we will use our 51 percent [in IZIP] maximally effectively for the benefit of the VZP," he said.

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