Analysis: Many State-run Hospitals Generate High Debts Again
22. júla 2019 16:22
Bratislava, July 22 (TASR) - Although the Health Ministry has launched the third round of hospital debt settlement, it shows that the proposed sanction model, in cases when criteria aren't met, doesn't work at all, Institute for Economic and Social Reforms' (INEKO) analyst Dusan Zachar has told TASR.
According to Zachar, such a step has no deterrent effect. "Many large state-run hospitals haven't changed a thing on their operation and keep generating new high debts," he said. Zachar also views negatively the fact that the public doesn't have access to recovery plans of individual hospitals whose debts are being settled and so it is unable to check them and apply pressure for them to meet the criteria.
"It's an absolutely wasted opportunity to make some positive changes. A moral hazard is deepening and proper motivations failed to be set that would have made it worth it to manage well and provide high-quality health care. It still isn't the case and rather the opposite applies in the case of management," stated Zachar.
The analyst believes that the health sector needs to be depoliticised if the situation is to change in the future. Zachar in this context stressed that a political power shouldn't be misused to assert particular interests.
Zachar sees a solution in introducing the so-called hard budgetary restrictions and changing the motivations of those engaged in the system so that it would be worth it to provide high-quality health care and reasonably manage, as there would be an adequate reward for this. "Conversely, if this doesn't happen, it must be disadvantageous for health care providers, employees, founders and politicians from the financial, reputation and political viewpoints," said Zachar.
The hospital debt settlement has entered its third stage. The Health Ministry launched it in June with creditors currently verifying their claims.
Debts amounting to €339 million have been settled within the first stage that ended in July 2018. The volume of money included creditors of hospitals, as well as social-insurance provider Socialna poistovna and creditors of the National Transfusion Service. A total of 29 hospitals and the National Transfusion Service joined the debts settlement.
The sum of debts settled within the second stage via a fixed discount exceeded €402,000, while the sum of claims settled via an electronic auction is over €54.7 million.