As Smatana, who was the head of the Institute of Health Analysis under the Ministry of Health, said that everyone – representatives of public and private hospitals – met in the Ministry of Health, innovative and generic medicines, general and specialized dispensaries, insurance companies, trade unions, hospitals, patient organizations.
Archive VIDEO Health care will be co-financed if necessary, confirmed Minister Lengvarský
It was practically the entire healthcare sector, and its representatives made it clear – they do not allow a reduction in money in healthcare. However, they expressed their support for the ministry to sit down with the Ministry of Finance on the draft budget and negotiate a compromise. “Although concessions have been made at the Economic Council, there is no room in the budget for development or a significant increase in the salaries of health professionals. Without them, even the most modern hospitals or the best reforms will not help us, ” he warned Smatana, saying they had sent a clear signal to the government.
If they do not want health professionals to literally flee abroad for work, they should increase the health budget, not reduce it, as they are now proposing. And even if the ministry does not want patients not to receive innovative treatments, or that we are not so-called Ryanair of European healthcare. Ryanair is a well-known “low-cost” airline, which is used by many for cheap transport.
“It’s not about profits, thieves or inefficiency. It’s about the patient. About all of us. I have never seen such unified representatives of healthcare professionals, providers or payers in Slovakia. We are talking about often competing associations. But today they have shown that they want more – about patients and the future of our healthcare, “ Smatana wrote, adding that he hopes that the Ministry of Health will still be able to negotiate with the Ministry of Finance an increase in resources for health care for next year.
According to the Slovak Trade Union of Health Care and Social Services, the draft state budget is destructive to liquidation. Trade unionists see it as a gross contradiction to the government’s program statement. They call on MEPs to increase the budget.
“If the recovery plan states that the existing network of hospitals in Slovakia is significantly outdated, or another statement that medical staff is obsolete, that there is a lack of funding for equipment or repairs of hospitals, then this draft law on the state budget is moving away from developed countries.” said the president of the association Anton Szalay, comparing the Slovak healthcare system to “the sinking Titanic, which is heading to the east and south of Europe.” He also pointed to another wave of a new coronavirus pandemic, a shortage of medical personnel struggling with expulsion and considering leaving. The union therefore described such a proposal as “euthanasia on its own nation.”
Is there a match?
On Wednesday, after the tripartite meeting, the head of the Ministry of Health Vladimír Lengvarský said that the Ministry of Finance would release, if necessary, money for health care, which was planned in this year’s budget for payment for state policyholders. It is currently reduced by more than 232 million euros. He also talked about the possibility of co-financing for next year in the amount of 220 million euros.
Lengvarský emphasized that in Tuesday’s negotiations (12 October) they explained to the Ministry of Finance the needs of the healthcare sector. “I have the impression that there has been some agreement, and this was confirmed today at the meeting of the Economic and Social Council, when the reserve, which was created at the Ministry of Finance, will serve the needs of the Ministry of Health,” said the head of the health department. He added that the main goal for next year will be the stabilization of medical staff.