The Health Ministry has developed a proposal to save up to €23 million through lower operating costs by Slovak health insurers and less ministry expenditure on ambulances used by emergency medical services – with the savings to be used to increase the salaries of hospital-based doctors, the Sme daily reported.
The salaries of doctors are scheduled to be increased in two steps in January and April 2012. Sme wrote that originally the ministry wanted to achieve nearly €100 million in savings through more transparent public procurements and through a new prescription drug policy.
The Health Ministry stated that the savings that will come from Slovakia’s three health insurers can reach €18.4 million, with the highest amount, up to €12 million, coming from the state-owned health insurer, Všeobecná zdravotná poistovňa (VšZP), which currently owes the state €120 million.
“The insurance company has decreased its operating costs by 2.7 percent,” said the CEO of VšZP, Marian Faktor, as quoted by Sme, adding that the new rules proposed by the ministry will not threaten the insurer’s operations because the ministry has postponed the deadline for paying off its debt from June 2012 to June 2013.
The providers of emergency medical services said they were surprised by the ministry’s proposal, with one of the largest companies, Falck, stating that the proposal is “non-standard” and that the ministry had not discussed its intention with the company in advance. The spokesperson for Falck, Alena Lacyková-Krčová, said that “a further decrease in prices might reduce the quality of the service”, Sme wrote.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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