Hospitals face 'chronic debt', struggle to maintain quality - study

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 11-10-2018 09:39:00 · 0 Comments
Hospitals face 'chronic debt', struggle to maintain quality - study

Portugal’s public hospitals are suffering from chronic indebtedness, forcing them to make an “inglorious effort” to maintain adequate standards of quality, according to a new study by a group of Portuguese experts.

The final report of the '3 F – Financing, Formula for the Future' project, presented in Lisbon on Wednesday, contains 10 recommendations aimed at improving the model of organisation and financing of Portugal's National Health Service (SNS).

The document notes that the financial crisis that the country underwent from 2011 to 2014 saw a “strong reduction in public expenditure,” with measures imposed by the ‘troika’ of International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank as part of a euro-zone bailout resulting in a “low budget for health” and the “strangulation of cashflow at hospitals” - which depend on decisions by the minister.

The experts said in the report that it is “essential for hospital management to recover autonomy” and that it was “urgent to adopt management and care provision [that is] less dependent on administrative processes.”

The '3 F' project aims to go ahead with two pilot projects aimed at changing the financing model and organisation of care.

One project, dubbed FAROL, is to be developed by Porto's cancer hospital, the IPO, and is aimed at patients with lung cancer with the intention of measuring clinical health results and assessing patients' experience throughout the whole process. This is also to allow the experts to determine the real cost of treatment.

The other project focusses on the integration of patient care and disease prevention and is to be set up at the Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro hospitals. It aims to test a population-based financing model, to be later compared with current budgets, with the aim to scrapping payment to health institutions based on the volume of healthcare given.


Be the first to comment on this article
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.