Chamber of Deputies, 5th election term, 2006-2010
Committee on Health Care
In Czech parliamentary history, the Committee on Health Care was first established by the Chamber of Deputies of the National Assembly of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1920 as the ‘Health Committee’, which focused primarily on issues related to health insurance and hospitals.
The Committee operated in the Chamber of Deputies until 1938. After World War II, it was re-established in November 1945 as the ‘Health Care Committee’ of the Interim National Assembly. In summary, the Committee on Health Care was preceded by: the Health Committee (1920–1945), the Health Care Committee (1945–1948), the Social and Health Care Committee (1948), the Committee on Social Policy and Health Care (1948–1954), the Health Committee (1954–1968), the Committee on Social Policy of the Federal Assembly (1969–1990), the Health and Social Committee of the Czech National Council (1969–1990), and the Committee on Social Policy and Health Care (1990–2006).
The current Committee on Health Care was established as a separate committee for health care issues at the first session of the Chamber of Deputies in the 5th Electoral Term, held on 15th August 2006. The Committee was created by dividing the Committee on Social Policy and Health Care into two separate committees: the Committee on Social Policy and the Committee on Health Care.
Current Agenda – 5th Electoral Term of the Chamber of Deputies
The Committee discusses individual bills between the first and second readings, mostly discussing bills presented as legislative initiatives by the Ministry of Health Care on behalf of the Government. The Minister is usually invited to join the Committee for the discussion of the bill. The Committee discusses acts dealing particularly with health care, pharmaceuticals, health insurance, and the funding of health care facilities.
A major part of the Committee’s agenda in the 5th Electoral Term of the Chamber of Deputies is the discussion of bills and amendments related to health care reform, including especially amendments to the Public Health Insurance Act, and Public Health Care Act. The bills discussed by the Committee in the first half of the 5th Electoral Term included e.g. the bill of the Drugs Act, the Government bill of the Public Budget Stabilisation Act, the Deputies’ bill of the Act amending Act No. 379/2005 Coll., On Measures against Damage Caused by Tobacco Products, Alcohol and Other Addictive Substances and the Government bill amending Act No. 18/2004 Coll., On the Recognition of Professional Qualification and Other Eligibility of Member States of the European Union and Some Citizens of Other States and on the Amendment of Certain Acts.
Monitoring the Government
The Committee discusses bills of health insurance plans; Government bills of the final state budgetary account – Chapter 335 – Ministry of Health; Government bills of the state budget – Chapter 335 – Ministry of Health; annual reports on the management of Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna (General Health Insurance Company – VZP); annual reports and financial statements of health insurance companies; and decrees implementing the decision of the Ministry of Health on general contracts, in accordance with Section 17, Subsection 3 of Act No. 48/1997 Coll.
The Committee on Health Care discusses proposals for the election and recall of 20 members of the Board of Directors and 10 members of the VZP Supervisory Board.
Committee meetings are convened and conducted by the Chairperson, who is obliged to convene a meeting upon the decision of the Chamber of Deputies, or upon a request of at least two-fifths of all the members of the Committee, and must do so within 15 days from such a decision or request. The meeting’s agenda is proposed by the Chairperson and approved by the Committee. If a member of the Committee requests that an additional item be added to the agenda, it must be approved by three-fifths of all the members of the Committee. The Committee’s meetings are open to the public, but it may be proposed that a meeting be declared closed to the public (excluding the public and media). The Committee decides by an absolute majority of the members present.