4. Paying for services
Adequate funding for health is important to manage the excess demands on the health system. This section considers how countries are PAYING FOR COVID-19 SERVICES. Health financing describes how much is spent on health and the distribution of health spending across different service areas. The section also describes who is covered for COVID-19 testing and treatment, whether there are any notable gaps (in population coverage and service coverage), and how much people pay (if at all) for those services out-of-pocket.
4.1 Health financing
Since February 2020, various financial transfers have been continuously provided in relation to the outbreak of COVID-19 for the regional public health authorities of the Slovak Republic, Public Health Authority, medical facilities and emergency medical services. During February and March the amount of € 5,3 mil. EUR was provided for PPE, instruments and diagnostics of COVID-19 by the Ministry of Health. At the same time Slovak movable reserves authority signed contracts worth 43 mil. EUR to deliver PPEs to all at risk (healthcare providers, police force etc.). The MoH purchased ventilators worth 12 mil. EUR. with funds provided by the ministry of finance.
Part of the funding was provided from the Public Treasury Administration (Ministry of Finance) by increasing expenditure chapters/budget of the Ministry of Health and part was provided from the approved budget funds of the Ministry of Health (however, basically all sources were from the Ministry of Finance).
The only incentive that was put in effect was a bonus payment for telehealth services (including an expansion of a scope of services that can be done through telehealth tools).
Health insurance companies also cover 75% of average income of 2019 (monthly) to all out-patient providers whose services were impacted by the virus (but primary care services that have capitation payments and remain in service).
As of August, 25, 2020, no additional funding for health insurance companies (HIC) to compensate extra expenses have been provided. Health Insurance Companies hence do not cover any of aforementioned expenses, since most additional expenses are covered by the Ministry of Finance. Nonetheless, HICs are expecting a decrease in income due to economic measures proposed by the Ministry of Finance and decreased GDP. On the other hand, there has been a decline in overall consumption of care, in some case by 60% for elective in patient care and up to 10% for prescription medicines. Figures are yet to be finalised and analysed. Nonetheless, on overall, the Ministry of Health expects a gap of 300 million EUR.