The supply of medicines by the Company Medicines Supply Suriname (BGVS) is severely hampered by the hospitals’ massive payment arrears. The backlog is too great for the hospitals to catch up with. Dayasankar Mathoera, chairperson of the National Hospital Council (NZR), writes to Minister of Health Amar Ramadhin to explain that this is due to the out-of-date day care rates. The bed-day rate includes a significant amount of the medications patients require, which cannot be disclosed individually. The need for a solution is urgent.
The bed-day rate is far from sufficient to cover all costs for an inpatient patient. There was an arrangement that all hospitals could purchase medicines from BGVS for a certain amount each year at the expense of Public Health. This is to compensate for the daytime rate that is not in line with the market. This arrangement was abolished in September last year. The intention was that the bed-day rates would be adjusted in line with the market, so that the hospitals could pay the costs. “However, the bed-day rate has not been adjusted and care is now in danger,” says Mathoera.
The NZR says it does not always want to keep its hands open with the ministry and ask for subsidies in any form. “Our urgent request in this regard is to retroactively adjust the bed-day rates and other healthcare services, such as lab/radiology and operating room, in line with the market, so that we are able to pay our bills ourselves. If this is not possible for whatever reason “, then we would like to ask you to reinstate the arrangement with BGVS for the benefit of the hospitals. The stretch has been completely exhausted and we can no longer continue. The quality of care is steadily declining,” the NZR states.
The State Health Insurance Fund (SZF) is the largest customer of healthcare services at hospitals. More than 80% of the hospitals’ patient base consists of SZF patients. The negotiations between the SZF and the hospitals are going very smoothly, NZR informed the minister. Reaction to proposals has been slow and rates have not been adjusted for this year. The hospitals get the feeling that they are not being taken seriously.