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Hospitals face cuts in bed capacity

SLOVAK hospitals may lose 10 to 15 percent of their total 35,000 beds, based on a preliminary plan by the Health Ministry.The exact number and structure of the affected wards will be known after talks between the ministry, counties, managements of the affected facilities and insurance companies, the SITA newswire reported.

SLOVAK hospitals may lose 10 to 15 percent of their total 35,000 beds, based on a preliminary plan by the Health Ministry.The exact number and structure of the affected wards will be known after talks between the ministry, counties, managements of the affected facilities and insurance companies, the SITA newswire reported.

The reduction is due to a lack of financial resources and the expectation that payments from health insurance companies will not increase in the near future.

“Strictly speaking, this does not mean hospitals will be closed; it is just a reduction of ineffective wards, as well as support and extension of outpatient and day-care so that patients are provided the major part of health care in their regions,” the ministry explained, as quoted by SITA. “Specialised care that is medically and financially demanding (and, most of the time, only necessary in rare cases) will be centralised because that is the only way it can be provided in the highest possible quality.”

The first changes, starting April 1, will concern cases requiring a change in the form of healthcare provided, such as changing a one-day treatment to a hospital treatment, and those where transfers of beds or centralisation of wards is not necessary.

Marián Petko, president of the Association of Slovak Hospitals, said that there are redundant beds. “Some restructuring would partially help the system,” he said, as quoted by SITA.


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