Ministry of Health is examining the amounts of profits of emergency services before another meeting with the representatives of Association of Emergency Medical Service. Minister Ivan Uhliarik claims, that profits of emergency services are in amount of 20%, representatives of the Association, however, oppose and argue that it is only 5 to 10%. Ministry is therefore investigating by the other providers of emergency medical services the correctness of statements from National Health Information Centre, which is periodically collecting the data on the direct costs and revenues of the providers.
Slovak Chamber of Dentists calls for the centralization of the system of dental emergency posts in Slovakia. According to the president of Chamber Ján Gašič there does not have to be from 6 to 12 dentist emergency posts in each county available. Another problem is, according to him, the financing of the healthcare system. Young dentists, who are setting up the outpatient clinics, have allegedly problems with closing of the contracts with health insurance companies and with allotted amount of funds.
Operation Centre of Emergency Medical Service plans to invest more than € 3 million into the modernization of communication structure, operators will thus communicate more effectively. The Centre has concluded the contract for completion of infrastructure on January the 17th with Slovak Telekom on the basis of procurement without publication, ergo without public tender. According to spokeswoman of the Centre the public tender was not necessary and Centre allegedly followed the law on public procurement. The former head of the Centre claims that tender should have taken place and he also criticizes the price of the modernization.
Emergency services do not expect that they will make an agreement with Ministry of Health on the new conditions of their financing. This follows the meeting of Minister Ivan Uhliarik and representatives of the Association of Emergency Medical Service. Association has prepared a proposal, which would bring about 75% of the savings proposed by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry, however, did not accept it. Nevertheless, both parties agreed to meet again.
Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa (General Health Insurance Company) proposes that Ministry of Health should more significantly reduce the payments of insurance companies per kilometre of ride of emergency service. Currently are emergency ambulances receiving € 0.70 for one km, ministry proposes the decrease to € 0.60 and insurance company pursues € 0.45. Insurance company considers the amount of € 0.60 as unreasonably overvalued compared to the real costs and to comparable medical transport service. Emergency ambulances, however, claim that lower payments will affect their operation.
Minister of Health Ivan Uhliarik did not make an agreement with representatives of the providers of emergency services even at their last negotiation. From February, ministry is planning to save on the emergency ambulances annually around € 5 million. According to the providers this will result in old ambulances and cheaper medical equipment. Ministry, allegedly, contrary believes that reduction of payments for ambulances will not affect the patients and the quality of care. President of the Association of Emergency Medical Service claim that some providers will defend through the legal way.
Providers of emergency care are asking the Prime Minister Iveta Radičová to stop the planned reduction in payments for emergency services, by which the Ministry of Health from February wants to save annually around € 5 million. According to them the reduction in payments will have an impact on the patient, as the equipment of the crews of emergency medical aid will reach the necessary minimum and the new one will not be bought. Representatives of the ambulances also argue that this measure is missing an economical reasoning and logic. At the meeting with Prime Minister they want to submit their requirements, arguments and proposed solutions.
Ministry of Health has definitively decided on the reduction of the payments for providers of emergency medical service from April the 1st. Compared with the original proposal their incomes will be decreased less, but ambulances are, nevertheless, dissatisfied. Decreased will be lastly only the fee for the ambulances without physiacian, which will fall from € 16,928.90 to € 16,028.46. Primarily it should have been reduced to € 15,200. According to the Ministry a total savings should this year reach an amount of € 2.4 million.
According to the President of the Association of Medical Emergency Service Ivo Krpelan the Ministry of Health will save on the ambulances more than it informed in its former statement. Since February 1st the new pricing measure, which is decreasing a fee for ambulances without physician, is in force. According to the Association, however, the overall impact will not be only € 2.7 million, as MoH claims, but in fact it will be € 4.7 million, as was stated in the original proposal of the Ministry. Pricing measure is according to the Association non-conceptual and non-systematic.
Operators of emergency services, who will, according to the new set of payments, have problem to meet material, technical and personal requirements, will be enabled to return the licenses for their operation, said Minister of Health Ivan Uhliarik. According to him the quality of emergency services is strictly controlled and will be henceforward monitored. If some of them will have a problem with the fulfilment of specified requirements, or will decide to no longer provide the emergency service, they will be enabled to return their license.