Drucker: Some €80 mn to Feature in 1st Round of Settling Hospital Debts

(Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 13 (TASR) – Around €80 million will be used in the first round of settling hospital debts, stated Health Minister Tomas Drucker (a Smer-SD nominee) after the Cabinet session on Wednesday, adding that the money will be used to repay older debts first.

Drucker was responding to the Health Ministry-sponsored proposal to give hospitals up to €585 million to settle their debts, which was approved by the Cabinet earlier in the day.

The money can be used to settle claims that emerged by the end of last year. The first round will relate to claims older than two years. “Over the next few years the money should be released gradually,” said Drucker, adding that if the hospitals provide recovery plans rapidly, the money will also be released quickly. The recovery plans are among the conditions that the hospitals will have to meet in order to receive money from the state.

Drucker further said that the first debts could well be repaid in November. These should include the obligations of university and faculty hospitals as well as those managed by the regions.

The health minister noted that it’s now the creditors turn to ask for the money. The ministry will take on the hospitals’ obligations vis-a-vis their creditors and settle the debts. Conversely, Drucker expects the creditors to make some financial concessions. This idea isn’t acceptable to everyone, however.

Suppliers of medical aids and special medical materials, to which hospitals owe the highest sums, strongly disagree with this measure and have sent an open letter to Drucker to that effect.