Slovakia’s Health Minister proposes turning state hospitals into joint-stock companies

The prescription offered by Slovakia’s Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik (KDH) for overcoming the massive debt in the health-care sector, which climbed to €200 million by the end of 2009, lies in turning state-owned hospitals into joint-stock companies, the TASR newswire wrote, based on an interview with the minister. He described the proposed measure as an opening gambit to stop state-run facilities from falling deeper into debt. He expects the debt would begin to drop next year as he said 'transformed' hospitals will not post losses and instead could even achieve profits.

The prescription offered by Slovakia’s Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik (KDH) for overcoming the massive debt in the health-care sector, which climbed to €200 million by the end of 2009, lies in turning state-owned hospitals into joint-stock companies, the TASR newswire wrote, based on an interview with the minister.

He described the proposed measure as an opening gambit to stop state-run facilities from falling deeper into debt. He expects the debt would begin to drop next year as he said 'transformed' hospitals will not post losses and instead could even achieve profits.

Uhliarik said the proposed change should not be perceived as a kind of hidden privatisation. A proposal on reorganising state hospitals into joint-stock companies has already been drawn up by the ministry. Should it be approved by the government, the parliament and signed into law by President Ivan Gasparovic, the transformation of hospitals should be completed by the end of 2011 at the latest, he said.

The debt of state-run healthcare facilities accounted for more than half of the overall debt of the public sector. It has been estimated that in spite of a loan from the state in 2009, the hospitals created fresh debts amounting to more than €50 million last year.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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