SLOVAKIA has 33 more hospitals and 25 percent more beds than it needs, according to a study by the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) think tank.
"To achieve a balance between demand and supply, the number of [health care] providers must be cut," said Peter Pažitný from the Health Policy Institute, a co-author of the IVO analysis.
Pažitný's conclusions were based on data from 2004, when of the more than 38,000 available hospital beds in Slovakia, only 64 percent were used during the year. By calculating an average of 300 beds per hospital, the analysts concluded that the 10,000 unused beds meant that 33 hospitals were superfluous, the Hospodárske noviny wrote.
However, the Health Ministry disagrees with the findings. "The figure of 33 superfluous hospitals has not been proven and cannot be considered as either trustworthy or authoritative," said ministry spokeswoman Eva Slováková.
- Martina Jurinová