Increasing rates for hospital services will not solve difficulty of covering costs - Caksa

  • 2022-07-27
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Raising the tariffs for healthcare services will not solve the difficulty of hospitals in covering the rapidly growing expenses, MP Anda Caksa, the chairperson of the Saeima's Social and Labor Affairs Committee, told LETA.

For example, if the prices of energy resources increase by 30 percent, then one hospital will need financial assistance in the amount of 30 percent, while another hospital may need it by 50 percent, and this cannot be dealt with one specific tariff, explained Caksa. Also, it is not possible to predict the amount of which costs will increase, therefore it would not be possible to determine to what extent the tariff should be increased.

However, a solution should definitely be sought, because the cost of energy resources in hospitals is related to how they will be able to provide services, the politician emphasized. The Ministry of Health (MoH) should sit at the same table with representatives of hospitals to first clarify the situation in each municipality - for example, maybe there is still a possibility of putting in heating insulation in a hospital, and also consider the possibilities of switching to alternative energy sources - sun or wind.

Therefore, it would be necessary to find an individual solution for each hospital. Support for hospitals from the state budget would also be necessary, according to Caksa.

As reported, due to unpredictable increases in the prices of energy resources, hospitals warn that they will inevitably run into problems with covering their rapidly growing expenses, public relations specialist Lelde Bokovska told LETA.

The Latvian Hospital Association says that the fast growing prices of energy resources can have a negative impact on hospitals' performance and patient care. Different measures are being planned in advance and an additional budget funds are being sought, but without knowing what the actual increase in the costs will be, this may be not enough.

The Hospital Association's board chairman Jevgenijs Kalejs emphasized that an influx of Covid-19 patients in hospitals was expected in the fall, while the next challenge hospitals will face will be covering their daily costs.

The hospital association has already turned to the Health Ministry with a request to review and increase the tariffs for healthcare services due to the rapidly growing prices, but was replied that the ministry had no such plans for the time being. According to Kalejs, hospitals will continue to look for solutions and turn to the government with a request to consider support mechanisms for hospitals as well.