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Ostrava Hosted V4+Austria Health Ministry Representatives

Within the frame of the Czech presidency of the Visegrad Group in the years 2015–2016, Ostrava hosted a meeting of representatives of the Ministers of Health of the Visegrad Group and Austria. The key topics discussed were the development of a National Health Care Information System and data-based control of reimbursement mechanisms (DRG), Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and re-exports of medicinal products.

"I was honored to host this important event. Discussions with foreign colleagues pertained to experience with common and significant topics in healthcare. We agreed that without relevant and constantly updated information we cannot track whether patients receive the right treatment at the right time and right place. Building National Health Information Systems is a major international issue and a very important milestone for the evaluation of provided care," Minister of Health Svatopluk Němeček commented one of the agenda items, adding: "Sharing indicators of quality of care between countries is also important and can significantly speed up their validation and application in practice. The cooperation of neighboring countries in a globalised world is important with regard to the issue of re-exports and the prevention of the export and import of low-quality products."

Partner countries of the V4 have agreed on a methodology for the cooperation and sharing of their outputs and evaluation reports in the area of quality and availability of healthcare, and of health technologies and monitoring their performance and contribution, as well as cost effectiveness. Sharing experience in building these evaluation systems, the so-called National Health Information Systems, will benefit in particular the field of cyber-security and the protection of sensitive personal data. Partner cooperation of neighboring countries will allow these systems to be built safely and with respect to the high sensitivity of the personal data of patients, yet effectively enough to guarantee the required level of quality and safety of healthcare services. Sharing experience with data collection, legislation and common practices in assessing health technology will significantly accelerate advances in available technology.

Representatives of the V4 countries also discussed the issue of re-exports of medicinal products. Similarly to the Czech Republic, other states are also encountering the problem of medication being distributed abroad for economic reasons. In this area, the participating states agree on the need for continuous cooperation and coordination of individual countries, for example through legislative measures (restrictions on re-export).

Source: Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic

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