Emergency departments will change

The new network is expected to be finished in three years.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

The network of emergency departments will undergo crucial changes in the following three years. There should be two basic types: the first will consist of only one room, while the second type will be connected with further highly specialised units.

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This stems from the amendment to the law on health care prepared by Health Minister Tomáš Drucker (Smer nominee).

“We defined a network we expect as sufficient for Slovakia,” Drucker said, as quoted by the Sme daily.

Altogether 34 emergency departments will be of the first type, to be situated in regional capitals and most of the district capitals.

Another 10 departments (six for adults and four for children) will be of the second type. They will be bigger and doctors will provide highly-specialised urgent medical treatment. Part of these departments will also be trauma centres. These emergency departments will be situated in the biggest hospitals in Slovakia: Bratislava, Nitra, Martin, Banská Bystrica, Poprad and Košice, Sme wrote.

Under the new rules, a doctor or paramedics will decide on where the patient will be located.

Read also: Patients may pay more at emergency wards Read more 

As for payments from health insurers, emergency departments of the first type will receive €27,000 a month, while those of the second type nearly €100,000. The emergency departments outside this network will receive money only for actual treatment, Sme wrote.

The emergency departments should provide urgent health treatment to patients who have suffered serious injury or whose life is in danger, for example after a heart attack. Moreover, part of the departments in the hospitals should also be emergency, which will treat less serious cases, Sme wrote.

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Under the new rules, patients will pay €10 for treatment at the emergency departments, up from the current €2. People with serious health complications will be freed from paying the charge.

Moreover, hospitals will be able to draw money for building their emergency departments from EU funds, apart from those situated in Bratislava, which will receive the money from state. Drucker expects the costs for building the emergency departments to amount to dozens of millions of euros, Sme wrote.

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