The healthcare sector is on a ventilator and needs urgent help. Due to the lack of laser cables the Retinal operations are no longer possible in the very modern Eye Care Center of the Academic Hospital Paramaribo (AZP). Debts with suppliers have increased, which cause shortage of materials. Claudia Redan ,General director of AZP, told the news press that multiple services in the hospital are no longer possible. The situation is very critical.
The reason for the imploding of the healthcare sector is, among other things, cost-effective rates. More SRDs must be paid for the purchase of materials at a rate of SRD 30 to the US dollar or higher. The official exchange rate by the Central Bank of Suriname is currently SRD 29.83 for the US dollar and SRD 28.22 for the euro. Due to the high exchange rate and the outdated overnight rates, many services have been endangered. Several hospitals get their currency from cambios for SRD 31.5 or more to the US dollar.
Redan notes that because they like any other company or shop, cannot adjust rates independently, they always run into problems. This applies to the entire healthcare sector. Redan said that a bridging plan must be drawn up as a matter of urgency if the care is to survive at the current level. Earlier this month, a presentation was given to the permanent public health committee of the National Assembly about a National Plan for Renewing Healthcare 2025.
The presentation indicated that there are almost no essential medical consumables/medicines. There are yellow liquid assets for the Emergency Fund of SRD 100 million. Essential care is partly impossible, the Medicines Supply Bureau Suriname is in major liquidity problems and cannot place orders. The suppliers want cash payment and do not want to provide credit. If AZP wants to continue the service, it will have to request additional payments. There is no cash to fund medical missions, leading to major reputational damage.
It is noticeable that of the treaty funds for health care of 8 million euros, the lion’s share of 4.2 million euros goes to personnel costs. This is apparent from the presentation by Marc Sprenger, program director, to the permanent Assembly Committee on Public Health.