IN SHORTS

Health Min proposes $80 million loan

THE HEALTH Ministry has recommended Slovakia take a $80 million loan from the World Bank to finance a new health sector funding system it hopes will cut costs in the debt-ridden sector.

The system, known as DRG (Diagnosis Related Groups), sets strict payments and medical procedures for various diagnoses. Slovak hospitals at present receive state money for 'surgical' and 'bed-treatment' patients, but payments are not divided according to specific diseases.

The ministry hopes DRG will encourage hospitals to treat patient illnesses as efficiently as possible, as they would keep any savings. The loan has yet to be approved by the government.

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