State spends 5.1 billion euros on private health services

The SNS (national health service) paid out €5.1 billion to private companies last year. The money translates into €14 million per day, €420 million per month and an average of €500 per citizen.

National tabloid Correio da Manhã explains the situation through “accounts drawn up by economist Eugénio Rosa”.

Rosa is said to have found that the largest chunk of spending (€3.5 billion) went on “the supply of services like consultations, purchases in pharmacies, complementary therapies and diagnostics and PPPs” – so-called public-private partnerships.

“Just the costs of SNS with four public hospitals (Cascais, Braga, Loures and Vila Franca da Xira) run by private companies (Lusíadas, José Mello Saúde and Grupo Luz Saúde) came to €448 million”, explains CM.

Next, under the heading of ‘supplies and external services’ came tests and analysis to a tune of €1.3 billion.

The tally represents a 28.7% increase on SNS spending for 2015, and “for the time being”, the government is forecasting that private health care costs will continue to increase, says the paper, though not by anything quite so much. The 2017 State Budget envisages an increase of around 1.4%, due to costs of purchases at pharmacies.

CM points out that health service spending with private companies “exceeds the budget of 11 ministries” for 2017.

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PHOTO: Cascais Hospital, run by Lusíadas Saúde