Health-care Sector Needs Additional €95m, ANS Tells New Minister

New Health Minister Drucker (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 31 (TASR) – Dozens of small and medium-sized hospitals believe that an additional €95 million would be necessary for the health-care sector to become stable, said president of the Slovak Hospitals Association (ANS) Marian Petko on Thursday following his working meeting with new Health Minister Tomas Drucker (a Smer-SD nominee).

“Otherwise, hospitals will have to take unpopular steps,” said Petko, who declined to specify them, however.

Petko pointed out that the system was underfunded last year, when he spoke about the potential closure of some hospital departments. More than 70 hospitals belonging to ANS are in urgent need of money this year to increase the salaries of health-care workers and for increases in the minimum wage, he said.

Petko noted that ANS has contracts with private health insurers only until the end of April 2016. It may happen that insurers will then reduce payments to them to the level seen in December 2015. “We would therefore receive 10 percent less, which means a huge volume for us,” said Petko. ANS wants to meet the health insurers soon.

ANS representatives have a good feeling about the new minister. They should hold another working meeting with him before long, said Petko. Thursday’s meeting with Drucker was the first one, and there are still some issues that need further discussion. Petko also mentioned, for example, DRG (diagnosis-related group), as ANS doesn’t like the way in which the basic rate has been determined. Petko also pointed to the need for medical standards.

Petko doesn’t mind the fact that Drucker isn’t a health sector expert. However, he thinks that he should have people around him who are familiar with the situation in the sector.