Public Healthcare Crisis: Are private providers the answer?

PANEL01 Jan 2019

Along with other European countries both Slovakia and the Czech Republic have a long history of universal healthcare provision by the state. Even though the medical performance of both countries ranks well internationally, insufficient government funding results in long waiting times, inadequate pay and outdated facilities. The past decade has seen a rise of private companies promising to tackle these problems, targeting higher salaries for medical workers and digitalization of hospital systems. Part of the population remains sceptical about the emergence of these major players in the private healthcare sector fearing that profits will be prioritized in lieu of the wellbeing of patients. Are such fears unfounded? How can the state ensure a balance between the two systems is kept if it opens to the “free market” model of healthcare? Will the public sector be able to keep up with the rapid pace of change?

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