Published On: Thu, Jan 24th, 2013

Hospital Platform for division of functions of satellite locations

WILLEMSTAD – Minister of Health, Ben Whiteman (PS), argues for introducing a hospital platform within the framework of building a new hospital that is to be responsible for the division of functions of the satellite locations. The minister also finds it expedient to introduce a reimbursement law to produce a total picture of the financial consequences of a medical institution. As regards the new hospital former minister of Health, Jacinta Scoop-Constancia (MFK) decided that the existing clinics be included as satellite functions of the new hospital. According to Whiteman, it is remarkable that the decision mentions three hospitals while only two of these medical institutions are defined as having a permit. “Only the Taams Clinic and the Advent Hospital have a hospital permit”, Whiteman explained. “Officially, the Pain Clinic is not a hospital. That is the remarkable thing about the council’s decision.”

Resistance

According to the minister, the division of the functions of individual clinics and the new general hospital must be clear. At the request of the Schotte-cabinet a consultant presented a proposal on the division of the hospital functions. The advice describes precisely what is done in which hospital. The clinics were given the opportunity to respond. According to Whiteman, the responses varied. “There was resistance, certainly from the Pain Clinic and the Advent Hospital. They have a critical view of this proposal”, Whiteman explained. “Some hadn’t responded, for example I didn’t see any response from the Taams Clinic and St. Elisabeth Hospital (Sehos).”

Whiteman stated the government is yet to decide on the proposal. “With differing opinions from the field on a proposal the government should strive to apply the consensus model; either you convince the players in the field or adjust the advice. There is a historic development with each of these institutions”, said the minister. “Can one simply forbid treatments that were offered for years in a clinic?” Whiteman asked. “Whatever is done with this advice the introduction of satellite locations gives reason to apply two important strategies to deal orderly with issues of the hospital system.”

When the advice was tabled Whiteman was inspector general of the Health Inspection. At the time he advised to use the momentum to establish a hospital platform in which the hospitals are committed to each other. The hospitals can decide among each other on who is to do what. The minister gave a practical example. “There was extensive discussion on the current understaffing at the Intensive Care (IC) of Sehos. Suppose the parties in a hospital platform agree that the more stable IC-patients at Sehos can be transferred to the Medium Care, to another clinic. This will create room for acute patients and will solve the understaffing at the IC in a practical way. Practical solutions are necessary, certainly when the country is facing financial difficulties”, said Whiteman.

Reimbursement law

The Minister of Health also deems the introduction of a reimbursement law expedient. The medical institution submits a statement of expenses on the total tariff of the medical product, including the honorarium for the medical specialists working at the institution. “By linking the statements of expenses together instead of the current individual statements of expenses the government and the medical insurers will have a better overview of the funds”, Whiteman explained. “This is very important information for macro-budgeting of the hospital.”

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