There is just too much money in healthcare. However, they are used inefficiently, just like the work of doctors and nurses in hospitals. Sotirios Zavalianis, owner of the healthcare holding AKESO, said this at the Zdravotnické déník conference on the topic of Healthcare Economics. Among others, he sat in the Health Care Financing Strategy 2024+ panel together with Zdenek Kabátek, director of General Health Insurance, Zentiva CEO Boris Sananes, and Kamal Farhan, shadow minister of health for the ANO movement.
“We know very well what we have to do, but we don’t want to do it,” Zavalianis described his impression of the inaction of political representatives in relation to maintaining the quality of care for years to come. Nobody really wants to change the current situation, which will require reforms to maintain. According to him, it is necessary to establish the required level of health care that we want to have as a society in the future. However, politicians are said to be afraid that they will lose popularity and lose the elections by major interventions in the system, or that the elections are far away and the work to improve the health care system might not be reflected in the results. “The current government doesn’t have to do anything because the next election is only two years away,” Zavalianis said in exaggeration.
He also relied on general complaints that there is a lack of money in the healthcare sector. “There is too much money in healthcare. Even if we put even more into it, we would be able to consume them very quickly,” believes the owner of the AKESO holding, which, in addition to clinics and pharmacies, also includes Hořovice Hospital, the Hořovice Hospital Diagnostic Center in Prague, the Beroun Rehabilitation Hospital and the Multiscan Oncology and Radiology Center.
The problem, he says, is that no one decides where the spent money ends up. “We are still buying CT scans (computed tomography, editor’s note), magnetic resonance imaging, and we work from seven to eleven. More money should be given only after the cultivation of the system, when we will see how the money can be used rationally,” Zavalianis is convinced of the inefficiency of the current system.
According to him, labor force in hospitals is also used inefficiently, especially with regard to the degree to which health professionals are overwhelmed with administrative work. “Doctors and nurses are supposed to do their jobs, they’re not secretaries. The whole system is irrational,” continued the successful entrepreneur.
According to him, the main problem is that hospitals are managed by the state and regions. “It’s obvious he doesn’t know how to run healthcare,” he snapped. “If you can’t do it, why don’t you give it to someone who can?” he fired a rhetorical question at his co-speakers on the panel. They owed him an answer, not so much the audience in the hall, who appreciated his words with thunderous applause.
According to Zavalianis, the solution to this unhappy situation could be the establishment of a university specialized in the education of healthcare managers. At the same time, he reminded that nobody helped him in building the healthcare holding, and he managed to build a network of billion-dollar hospitals, moreover, without subsidies, with enough doctors and with minimal turnover.
At the end of the conference, he confided what he would like to change if he had the power. “We deserve to have better standards than we currently have,” he concluded.
Zdravotnicky déník thanks Roche, AKESO, insurance company RBP, Zentiva, Satum, MSD, Novartis, VOZP, ALK, Medtronic, EUC and ZPMV for their kind support of the event.
Photo: Radek Čepelák