Higher wages drive 30% of care services into the red

Overall insurance costs have fallen since 1995.

A full 30% of institutions in the country’s largest care sectors were loss-making in 2016, compared to only 24% in 2015. Higher wages caused the increase the national statistics office CBS said on Monday.

Hospitals were the only sector in which losses diminished in 2016. But the highest losses – at 39% – were found in the nursing and retirement homes and home care sectors, which booked combined pre-tax losses of €65m, the CBS said.

Pre-tax earnings were lower in all care sectors in 2016 year-on-year. But hospitals performed best with combined pre-tax profit of €458m.

In all four care sectors operating costs rose faster than operating income. In addition to structural wage increases, staff costs also rose because of a new agreement about irregular working hours.

Staffing levels increased only in disabled care where 2,000 jobs were added in 2016. The biggest loss of jobs – more than 6,000 or 2.4% of the total  – was in the nursing and retirement homes and home care sectors.

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