Flemish hospitals fear unprecedented financial losses in 2023

Eight in ten Flemish hospitals assume it will be impossible to avoid losses next year. A survey by the healthcare umbrella organisation Zorgnet-Icuro has revealed this information, writes De Tijd on Thursday.

For hospitals in Flanders, losses are the exception and not the rule. Over the past decade their profit margin has fluctuated around 1.3 per cent on average. This year, however, Flemish hospitals collectively expect to be in the red for the first time. Six in ten hospitals already expect to suffer financial losses this year. Based on the budgets for 2023, that number will rise to eight in ten next year.

Margot Cloet, head of Zorgnet-Icuro, speaks of a "bloodbath". Flemish hospitals managed to end 2021 with a combined operating profit of 184 million euros. According to current forecasts, the result for this year will be a loss of around 35 million euros. In 2023, a budgeted loss of 114 million euros is expected.

The rising energy costs are the main cause behind the losses. "Hospitals are large consumers. Other expenses, such as medication, have also increased. This is due to inflation and the war in Ukraine," explained Cloet to VRT NWS. "If nothing changes, I fear some hospitals could go bankrupt."



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