The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic approved buying hospitals in Žiar nad Hronom and Rimavská Sobota by investment group Penta. Hospitals are also running the facilities in Banská Štiavnica, Kremnica and Žarnovica. Penta will control these hospitals indirectly through the company Svet zdravia. This company already control ten health facilities. Financial group officially announced the transaction in December. Hospitals were bought from entrepreneur Peter Baran, who managed hospitals through the company NaP Holding. The Antimonopoly Office concluded that the concentration of medical facilities in the hands of Penta group will not jeopardize competition in a market.
At Teaching Hospital in Nové Zámky is more than 55% probability that caesarean birth takes place. In this hospital in 2012, 52.6 percent of all births were by Caesarean section. The hospital is argued that hospital is centralizing the riskiest cases in pregnancy and each caesarean is medically indicated. Slovak maternity hospitals have higher values on episiotomy, warn analysts from HPI. The World Health Organization recommends that doctors should not use this procedure in more than ten percent of the cases. The Slovak hospitals, however, used it in nearly 60 percent of births.
Best maternity hospitals in Slovakia are in Trenčín, Košice-Šaca and Čadca. This result from the evaluation of Maternity Hospital Guide 2013, which was coordinated by Health Policy Institute (HPI) and rodinka.sk. Ranking was based on the evaluation of services of 50 (of 54) maternity hospitals, which were interested to participate in this project. Evaluated was the quality of health care services provided by hospitals and also mother’s satisfaction. Overall, the winner is Teaching Hospital Trenčín, second was hospital in Košice-Šaca and third place received Kysuce Hospital and Polyclinic in Čadca. Trenčín hospital not just defence the leadership in the overall assessment, but also defence leadership in assessment of experts.
According to Health Policy Institute, debt of state-owned health care facilities will be 400 million euros by the end of the year. Ministry of Finance is not counting with this fact. According to the Ministry of Health, hospitals would not create new debt, and thus should be able to start to pay the old liabilities. At the end of last year, hospitals have 365 million debts. This year it may reach tens of millions of euros more. Such a scenario could be problematic for the state budget. That´s why hospitals tend to be annually known as one of its largest landmines. With what kind of debts of medical facilities Ministry of Finance is counting, Ministry did not said. According to experts, debt will continue to grow.
The current issue of our traditional publication "Health Policy Basic Frameworks", now for the years 2014 – 2016, is focused on the most pungent segment of Slovak health system - hospitals. The authors quantify the investment gap, looking for the resources to cover it, bring examples of modernization of hospitals abroad. A separate chapter is dedicated to the payment mechanism, as well as human resources in healthcare.
According to the conclusion of the organization Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) which compared nine biggest procurers, one third of the state-owned hospitals was buying the electricity for a higher price than was necessary. TIS declares that three hospitals could have saved 450,000 euros yearly. At the same time they pointed out that Ministry of health, despite the plans, have not realized the central purchase of electricity. There was an estimated saving of 10 % from this step. Among the hospitals with high-priced electricity is Teaching hospital of Bratislava. Last year it purchased electricity by the form of negotiating without making it public. The price should be high also according to the amount of consumption. Stredoslovenský ústav srdcových a cievnych chorôb, which has compared to Teaching hospital in Bratislava consumption lower than one tenth, pays for 1 MWh by 12 euros less.
Medical facilities owed at the end of December 2013 on the social contributions to Social insurance company more than 86.3 million euros. That represents an increase of accounts receivables by more than 37.6 million euros. Accounts receivables to state-owned medical facilities reached at the end of December the level of almost 55.4 million euros. It is a monthly increase by more than 4.3 million euros. A rise of accounts receivables because of not paying is registered in a hospital in Banská Bystrica, also in hospitals in Bratislava, National transfusion service and Psychiatric hospital in Hronovce. According to minister of health Zuzana Zvolenská, the problematic are hospitals in Bratislava and Banská Bystrica. The debts of transformed facilities constituted 30.9 million euros.
Financial group Penta has confirmed the intention to build the new hospital in Bratislava. It assumes that it can build it at lower cost than is the estimation of Ministry of Health. The hospital will be built instead of a 30 year unfinished building of Rázsochy. State wants to build the completely new hospital in the part of Bratislava called Patrónka next to the military hospital. The new facility will replace some hospitals which belong under teaching hospital and are in bad condition. The most mentioned are the hospitals located in Kramáre and at Mickiewiczova street. State wants to use the PPP model to build a new hospital, i.e. it will look for a partner who would build it. The ministry estimates that the new hospital with 775 beds will cost 250 million euros.
The Ministry of Health has prepared document which sets crucial changes in health care until 2030. It counts with the reduction of beds in hospitals. Whereas the current number of them is approximately 34 000, within 17 years the figure should plummet to 19 000. The document was already passed by government. The aim of the ministry is to make a better use of acute hospital beds. Those are earmarked for patients whose health status is suddenly deteriorated yet they do not pertain to chronic patients. The ministry plans to reduce their number and change their structure. On the other hand the number of rehabilitation and nursery beds for long-term sick (chronic hospital beds) should be increased.