Croatian Hospitals Continue to Increase Debts

Total Croatia News

From January to the end of March, hospitals increased their debts by 160 million kuna.

In the first three months of this year, hospitals have made additional 160 million kuna of debt. Health Minister Dario Nakić said that the Ministry would prepare reorganization plan for the hospital system which will be implemented by new hospital administrations which should get their new acting directors next week, reports Jutarnji List on May 1, 2016.

“We must implement the reorganization of the hospital system and make it more efficient because that is the only way we can ensure the provision of quality healthcare services”, said the Minister. New hospital administration teams will work together with the Ministry of Health and the Croatian Health Insurance Institute to strengthen the control of hospital operations and “discover where the money is leaking in such large quantities”.

The current system of payments to hospitals for the services performed, said Nakić, actually was an incentive for hospitals to increase costs in order to show better business results. Hospitals were incentivized to invoice more medical services because they could get the money from those hospitals which invoiced less services. However, Nakić said that now hospitals which invoice more than the agreed limit would not be paid. “Hospitals were using the opportunity they had, but now we have to return back to reality”, said the Minister.

In addition to financial rationalization, Nakić announced the introduction of a new hierarchy in the hospital system, which will provide for one hospital institution at a national level, eight regional hospitals and two sub-regional hospitals, while other hospitals will be local.

The reorganization of the hospital system, which will start in the autumn, after the changes in emergency medical services are implemented, includes stricter control of financial operations and use of medicines, particularly antibiotics and especially expensive drugs. Special attention will have to be paid to diagnostic tests and waiting lists, which are a big problem.

The ultimate goal of changes in emergency medical services is for the emergency patients to wait no more than one hour, and that they receive their diagnosis within four hours, concluded Nakić.


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