Willemstad, September 29th, 2021 – During this morning’s press conference, the management team of Curaçao Medical Center (CMC) announced a stop of all elective treatments for SVB patients, effective October 1st. This is due to the fact that the funds provided by SVB for 2021 do not cover the expenses attributed to SVB patients. CMC will restart elective care for SVB patients in January 2022 upon receipt of the new year’s budget from SVB. Elective care are treatments that are planned ahead of time and are not considered emergencies. All clinical (Poli) appointments will continue as usual for all patients, including SVB patients.
CMC has been sounding the alarm for more than 20 months, indicating that in order to cover all expenses related to patients, the hospital must apply the actual rates related to the new situation of our healthcare chain, where we chose for an ultra modern hospital. The rates related to the Lb MTSV law (Medisch Tarief Sociale Verzekereingen) from the early 2000 that were originally applied to the budget are not sustainable and do not cover the actual expenses. The decision to stop elective care for SVB patients was made to lower costs and to be able to guarantee acute and essential care at all times.
In addition to regular costs, CMC also had to cover additional COVID-19 expenses during the past year, an extra ANG 13.6 million. On top of this, a total of ANG 29.8 million in production was realized, which are funds that were supposed to be destined for elective care. In terms of all CMC’s expenses, 75% are fixed, meaning that whether the hospital treats 1 patient or 300 patients, these expenses remain the same.
The decision to stop elective care for SVB patients has a significant impact on the Curaçao community seeing that 85% of patient-related expenses are from SVB patients. The amount that has been paid by SVB thus far only covers through August of this year. In total, since the initiation of the hospital to date, there is a difference of ANG 51.1 million in funds received from SVB compared to the budgeted total from CMC. The funds received from SVB are based on the Lb MTSV rates, while CMC’s budget is based on the new rates that take the new operational costs for the hospital into account.
CMC’s currect financial situation is attributed to several reasons: The healthcare budget is not sufficient, additional COVID expenses, and other unexpected expenses related to the new hospital. From the beginning stages, the government made a few choices that have a long-term impact on CMC’s liquidity. Among these choices were a complete restructuring of the healthcare chain, an ultra modern hospital, garanteeing employment to all SEHOS’ employees and the decision to finance and pay the contruction costs from the new hospital’s own resources.
CMC has made several efforts to keep the hospital expenses down which included the renegotiation of material and pharmaceutical contracts. Additional analysis was also performed and action was taked to lower laboratory costs . CMC will continue conversations with the government to arrive at a solution for the community of Curaçao.