OVERVIEW: More affordable medicines, a change in foreclosures and in the energy market A number of changes will take effect in January

From January, modern medicines and new vaccinations will be available

From January, modern medicines and new vaccinations will be available. The amendment to the Public Health Insurance Act, which enters into force on January, also regulates, for example, the powers of general practitioners or nurses or negotiations on the distribution of money from public health insurance. In an interview with ČTK in mid-December, former Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch (for YES) said that this was the biggest amendment to this law in at least the last 15 years. Dozens of the 61 sections of the law are changing. The annual impact of these adjustments will be about 100 million crowns. Health insurance companies will manage approximately 415 billion crowns next year.

According to Vojtěch, the most fundamental change is the change in the reimbursement of expensive innovative medicines and preparations for rare diseases by insurance companies. It is difficult to collect drug efficacy data for diseases that affect no more than one in 5,000 people. However, based on those insurance companies, they decide whether to pay for medicines to patients. In this way, it will take into account the opinion of the commission composed of experts on the given disease and patient organizations, and it will also be possible to appeal.

So far, every patient has had to apply for an unpaid medicine, insurance companies have received around 450,000 of them a year, and about 90 percent have done so positively and paid for medicines for more than two billion crowns. After the change in the law, about a third of applications are expected to decrease. After approval, the insurance company’s new drugs are valid for three years, after which they evaluate their effectiveness. The new term will be five years and the people who used the drug and it worked well for them will continue to pay for it from their manufacturer, not the insurance company.

The law also regulates the conciliation procedure, in which representatives of individual segments of health care negotiate with health insurance companies on reimbursement for care for the whole of next year. The minutes of the negotiations should be newly public and the circle of people who can negotiate with insurance companies on their behalf will change.

It also changes the reimbursement of some medical devices and increases in paid vaccinations. For example, diapers will be able to be prescribed to patients and nurses, and supplements for modern bionic prostheses will be cheaper. For people over the age of 50, insurance companies will pay for vaccinations against tick-borne encephalitis, for more children there will be free vaccinations against meningococcus of other types. Health insurance companies will pay for flu vaccinations.

An amendment will come into force in January, according to which they will stop unsuccessful executions

From January, a part of the amendment to the Execution Rules will enter into force, according to which they will be able to stop long-term unsuccessful executions from 2023. Movable property will also be partially restricted. The amendment also changes the order of repayment of the debt, the recovered money will be repaid in addition to court costs and foreclosure costs first the principal of the debt, then interest, then interest on arrears, and finally the costs of the creditor. According to some experts, the draft represents the biggest changes in executions in the last two decades.

The amendment newly introduces a six-year period, after which the executor will stop the unsuccessful execution if certain conditions are met. Unsuccessful execution could be extended twice more, lasting a maximum of 12 years. Executions, which have now run for six years or more, could begin to stop in 2023, a year after the amendment came into force. The period after which execution can be stopped will not apply, for example, to the recovery of child maintenance claims.

Among other things, the amendment also restricts the mobile executions of pensioners and the disabled and in childhood debts. Under the given conditions, the debtor will be able to avert the sale of his movables, and the possibilities of clearing debts from the past will also be adjusted.

Regional and municipal decrees will be newly published in the electronic collection

Decrees and regulations of municipalities and regions will be published in a central electronic form from the New Year. The purpose is to ensure that citizens are better informed about legal regulations issued by individual municipalities and regions. The collection of legal regulations of territorial self-governing units and some administrative authorities will be operated by the Ministry of the Interior.

Until the end of this year, municipalities are obliged to publish their legal regulations by posting them on the official notice board of the municipal office for a period of 15 days;

The law on the collection of legal regulations was adopted due to the fact that, according to the Ministry of the Interior, municipalities and regions often did not comply with the obligation to publish decrees and regulations on their websites as well. In addition, one third of the municipalities did not fulfill the obligation to inform the Ministry of the Interior about the decrees. Some senators challenged the law before the Constitutional Court, seeing it as an interference with the powers of local governments. However, the Constitutional Court rejected their complaint.

Customer protection in the energy market will increase from January

From 1 January, customers in the energy market will have greater protection, a change brought by the amendment to the Energy Act, which will enter into force at the beginning of next year. For example, energy suppliers will need to inform customers of price changes. Their publication on the Internet will no longer be enough.

The amendment to the law extends the protection of customers against unfair practices by dishonest traders. The supplier must notify the customer of an increase in the price for the supply of electricity or gas or a change in other contractual conditions at least 30 days in advance. If it does not do so, it must not take effect. If the customer does not agree with the changes, he can terminate the contract without penalty no later than ten days before it enters into force.

The amendment against the so-called energy blacksmiths also introduces a register of energy supply intermediaries. It determines intermediary activity in the energy sector as a new type of business on the basis of the authorization of the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO). Companies that set up their suppliers in order to mediate energy supplies will also have to have a brokerage license.

From the New Year, the system of training and selection of new judges will change

From the New Year, the system for selecting new judges will change. The amendment to the Act on Courts and Judges, which provides for a uniform system for the selection of both judges and court officials, will enter into force. Among other things, it also prohibits the reappointment of court presidents and introduces their compulsory management training.

The amendment adopted on behalf of the previous Minister of Justice, Marie Benešová (for YES), is based on the recommendations of the Group of States against Corruption at the Council of Europe (GRECO). According to the ministry, its main goal is greater transparency in the selection of judges. The current system of training and selection of judges was not uniform in the courts. In some places, for example, judicial trainees did not work at all, they were replaced by judges’ assistants. The amendment therefore abolishes the current judicial waiters. There should be mainly assistants in the courts, who will help individual judges to deal with the daily agenda.

Lex Dukovany will enter into force, and Russian and Chinese companies will be excluded from the completion of Dukovany

Russian and Chinese companies will not be able to participate in the construction of the new unit of the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant. The security guarantees of the new law on measures for the Czech Republic’s transition to low-carbon energy, nicknamed Lex Dukovany, provide for this. The law enters into force on January 1.

The law envisages that only technologies from suppliers from countries that have acceded to the International Government Procurement Agreement of 1996 will be used for construction. Russia and China are not among these countries. Technologies not dependent on unauthorized suppliers will not be able to be used not only for the construction but also for the maintenance of the new unit.

The standard introduces the possibility for the Ministry of Industry and Trade to provide repayable financial assistance for the construction of the Dukovany power plant. The Act also introduces a method of determining the purchase price of electricity from the new unit of the Dukovany power plant, which is related to securing project financing.

Source: EuroZprávy.cz by eurozpravy.cz.

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