Mix of Public and Private Hospitals to Save Croatian Healthcare System?

Total Croatia News

Costs are rising, and the number of people paying into health insurance fund is declining.

There are several trends which can be observed in Croatian healthcare system: increase in prices of services by an average of five to seven percent per year; negative demographic trends that change age structure of population; more older people who more frequently use health services but do not contribute to the system; and, on the other side, fewer young people who do contribute, reports Večernji List on November 13, 2016.

According to Dalibor Đurkan, CEO of the Merkur Osiguranje insurance company, in the next ten years budget hole will be even bigger than the one today. “There will be about 3.5 million Croats, of which 50 percent will be over 65 years of age.”

Tatjana Račić-Žlibar, member of the Board of Directors of the Uniqa Osiguranje insurance company, said that the only solution for sustainable health system was the synergy between private and public health institutions. “If someone goes to a public hospital, everything is paid by the state, but if they go to a private hospital, nothing is paid because insurance policies which would cover that would be too expensive. In Austria, for example, the state pays the same amount which it would pay if you went to a public hospital, and you only pay the difference”, said Račić-Žlibar, adding that it could shorten waiting lists in public hospitals. As for the argument that it could hit the poorest citizens, even those with less disposable income would profit over time because public hospitals would not be so overburdened with patients.

While representatives of private healthcare insurance industry point out that the price of supplemental health insurance is unsustainable and say that either the price will have to increase or what they cover will have to be narrowed, director of the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZZO) Fedor Dorčić said that the price would not be changed at this time.

“We had 4.5 billion kuna in annual revenues from the state budget, including excise duties on tobacco products and disability allowances. Since HZZO left the state treasury, payments are only partial. If the state would cover that, we would not be in the red. People from the European Commission are also asking why it has not been solved, and HZZO is paying even for those 900,000 people for whom the state should cover the cost of health insurance”, said Dorčić.

As for waiting lists, he noted that the creation of a single calendar of appointments will enable control over all scheduled appointments, and there will be no duplications. Dorčić said that HZZO was developing a new platform that will provide insight into the status of each individual patient and services used, and it will be ready to make it available to private health insurers as well, provided they pay appropriate fee.


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