BY IVAN ŠTULAJTER

Five points

In its new analysis on reducing surplus capacity in the healthcare system, the Health Ministry claims that health insurance companies proposed "a list of 36 independent hospitals or large parts of teaching hospitals that are suitable for re-profiling."

In its new analysis on reducing surplus capacity in the healthcare system, the Health Ministry claims that health insurance companies proposed "a list of 36 independent hospitals or large parts of teaching hospitals that are suitable for re-profiling." In other words, these facilities could become retirement homes, for example, and their operating costs would not have to be covered by the public healthcare budget.

The Health Ministry is cudgelling its brains for a way to rid the system of inefficient health care providers over which it has no control. The ministry could arrange cartel agreements between health insurers to shut these institutions out, but what really has to happen is that the government and the Health Ministry have to do what no one else can do for them. They have to reduce, and more precisely define, the minimum network of health care providers, thereby giving health care providers the room they need to reduce excess capacity. Second, they have to eliminate the protectionism of providers of general outpatient health services, which is provided by contracts with health insurers. Third, apart from a minimum care network they also have to define a minimum that must be in the hands of the state, or in other words launch privatization. Fourth - if this leftist government can muster the right-wing courage - they have to start charging for treatments, or in other words increase the financial participation of patients in their treatment, which creates room for commercial health insurance.

Finally, they have to stop playing with the idea of forcing state-covered insurance clients to register with state health insurers, or restricting the ownership rights of private health insurance companies. That path leads only to court cases and arbitration.


Sme, April 17

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

Threats have worked. People queued for COVID testing before the official start

The nationwide testing in Slovakia started with four districts in the north. Here is a report from the first day in Orava.

Bardejov

Day two of pilot testing in hardest-hit regions is off to a smoother start

PM Igor Matovič and Health Minister Marek Krajčí are helping the sampling teams, too.

Trstená, the Tvrdošín district

No test, no work. Employees will have to take paid or unpaid leave

Those who will be quarantined with a positive test result will be entitled to pandemic sick leave.

Illustrative stock photo

Autumn holidays change, art schools close too

The ministry will contribute to schools to buy computers and other equipment for distance learning.

Illustrative stock photo