published: 29.10.2012, 16:58 | updated: 29.10.2012 17:04:40
Prague - Czech health insurance companies plan to cut the number of acute beds by 6000 next year and to completely abolish acute bed care in 12 hospitals, Pavel Horak, director of the state General Health Insurance Company (VZP), said today.
Health care facilities will have some 50,000 acute beds after the reduction [in the 10.5 million country], Horak said.
The abolished acute beds in the 12 hospitals will be turned into one-day health care, for instance, Horak said.
According to a recently released analysis by the Health Ministry, employee health insurance companies are drawing the remaining reserves this year and the VZP already has no reserves.
The companies spent most of their reserves to cover the difference betwen revenues and spending of more than five billion crowns last year.
Jaromir Gajdacek, president of the Union of Health Insurance Companies, said in early October that the health insurance system has been in deficit since 2008. Some 3000 acute beds have already been closed.
Health insurance companies have withdrawn the contracts with all hospitals as from end-year.
Horak said the companies will offer the hospitals new contracts that will be long-term in a majority of them.
"This means that there will be no problem with availability of health care as from January 1, 2013, and there is no threat that it could arise," he said.
Small hospitals have joined forces with patients, trade unions and the handicapped in their opposition to the abolition of hospital beds in regions.
They claim that the health insurance companies will not save money this way, but on the contrary, they will pay more because they give large hospitals twice as much money for the same care, and patients will have to travel at longer distances to receive health care.
There are 5.25 acute beds per 1000 inhabitants in the Czech Republic, which is a European average, Petr Fiala, from the Association of Bohemian and Moravian Hospitals, has said.
The Health Ministry operates 19 out of the total of 189 hospitals in the Czech Republic, 24 are regional hospitals and 25 municipal.
Another 121 hospitals are in private hands, including joint-stock companies owned by regions.
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