Latvian hospitals' costs could double in energy crisis

Due to rising energy prices, hospitals may need an additional €15 million, Health Ministry's Deputy State Secretary for finance Boriss Kņigins told Latvian Radio on August 15.

Kņigins said that, in the first seven months of the year, approximately €3 million had been needed for hospitals due to the increase in energy prices. Another €9 million could be needed by the end of the year.

Overall, the increase is likely to reach €15 million. "If we compare to the previous year, when we paid 15 million for the whole year, this means that the projected increase is likely to be 100% this year," Kņigins said.

The Health Ministry could also ask for additional support from the government in late August or early September. Kņigins said that hospitals were able to provide the necessary quality of treatment for the time being, but as reported earlier by LSM, the larger hospitals say they will not be able to cope on their own.

“At the moment, we do not see a pressing problem that a direct shortage of funding could occur in hospitals after a month. Hospitals are still funded by the National Health Service. At the moment, these additional costs do not create such a burden to face insolvency,” the VM spokesman said.

He also said hospitals were working on spending cuts, such as thinking about an alternative to gas as an energy resource, and internal financial reallocation.

Moreover, not knowing how the situation with Covid-19 will develop this year, Kņigins said the industry must count on the possibility of two crises.

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