Public health fund needs to amend financial plan for 2021

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Ljubljana – The ZZZS public health fund’s revenue will be EUR 135.7 million higher this year than envisaged in the financial plan and expenditure will exceed the planned spending by EUR 58.3 million, so the financial plan will have to be supplemented. The estimated surplus of EUR 77.4 million will cover the losses from the past two years.

The ZZZS’s top bodies are expected to discuss a supplementary financial plan this month.

The public health fund’s revenue is estimated at EUR 3.58 billion this year and expenditure at EUR 3.5 billion. The estimated surplus of EUR 77.4 million is to be allocated for covering ZZZS’s losses from the past two years.

Last month, the ZZZS management board discussed the financial projection for this year, which showed that the higher revenue will come from more health insurance contributions (EUR 123.9 million) and agreements on drugs with pharmaceutical companies (EUR 29.5 million), among others.

And since the ZZZS is expected to finish the year in the black, transfers from the state budget will be by EUR 20.7 million lower than planned.

The ZZZS told the STA on Monday that the fund’s operations are stable this year, chiefly as a result of positive trends in the economy, the government’s measures to help businesses, and more contributions paid in the health budget than in 2020.

What is more, the state has partly covered, in line with the law, costs of Covid-19 treatment which would otherwise have to be covered by the ZZZS.

Costs of Covid-19 patients are expected to reach around EUR 220 million this year, of which EUR 80 million will go for sick leave pay and the rest for treatment. ZSSS has already received part of this sum, EUR 180 million, refunded from the state budget.

Current operations of the country’s healthcare organisations somewhat improved in the first six months, but liquidity, especially in hospitals, remains a problem.

According to the Slovenian Association of Health Institutions, overdue liabilities totalled 4.6% of all revenue from the January-to-June period.

The association said the liquidity issue was a result of accumulated closes from previous years, which call for elimination of systemic issues of public health funding whose aim should be a long-term stable financing of the entire healthcare system.

Revenue of all health organisations in the first half of the year stood at EUR 1.477 billion, up 26.7% from the same period in 2020, with the spending higher by 23.5%.

In general, business operations were better than in the same period last year, when loss reached EUR 39.7 million. This year, the loss of organisations that finished the first six months in the red exceeded the surplus of the organisations operating in the black by EUR 12.3 million.

However, the association said the figures are not fully comparable because of the different intensity of the epidemic and because ZZZS and the health organisations have not yet settled the bills.