Coronavirus: Increased and additional costs for hospitals, nursing homes and Spitex

15/12/2020 (14:45)
Press release
Government

Today, the Government of the Canton of Basel-Stadt passed a recommendation to Parliament concerning settlement of increased and additional costs incurred by hospitals, nursing homes and Spitex as part of tackling Covid-19. In all, the Canton of Basel-Stadt is expecting the increased and additional costs of these institutions to be around 77 million francs in 2020 and a further 31 million francs in 2021. It is making an application to parliament for the non-budgeted expenses totalling 108 million francs. The increased and additional costs were primarily incurred due to a greater need for ventilator beds and isolation beds in the hospitals, but also as a result of implementation of the prescribed measures and purchase of medical equipment.

Today, the Government of the Canton of Basel-Stadt passed a recommendation to Parliament containing the approval of framework expenditure for settlement of direct increased and additional costs incurred by the Basel-Stadt hospitals, nursing homes and Spitex Basel as part of tackling Covid-19 for the years 2020 and 2021.

The Department of Health Basel-Stadt was required to respond promptly because the first wave of coronavirus affected Basel-Stadt, as with the rest of Switzerland, rapidly and severely in spring 2020. It was necessary to quickly and unbureaucratically push ahead with building up additional intensive care capacity with ventilation capability and isolation beds (cohort isolation). Implementation of the measures prescribed by the Federal Government, purchase of new medical equipment (including ventilators) and setting up a testing centre also led to additional costs. The institutions were told at the time that appropriate compensation should be subsequently considered. The corresponding reports on the increased and additional costs of the hospitals, nursing homes and Spitex have since been received and examined by the Department of Health Basel-Stadt.

On the basis of the increased and additional costs reported by the Basel-Stadt hospitals, nursing homes and Spitex Basel for the months of January to August 2020, around 48.7 m. francs is to be expected for hospitals, around 6.2 m. francs for nursing homes and around 1.6 m. francs for Spitex Basel. Around 0.6 m francs could also be incurred for overnight hotel accommodation costs for healthcare staff. It is almost impossible to forecast the increased costs for hospitals due to the infection rates of Covid-19 patients that have been increasing sharply since October 2020, as well as all of the increased costs that are likely to be incurred for 2021. The Department of Health Basel-Stadt is working on the assumption of non-budgeted expenditure of around 77 m. francs for the whole of 2020, and of a further 31 m. francs for 2021, which comes to around 108 m. francs altogether.

The funds are not available in the budget of the Department of Health, which is why an application for a supplementary loan is being made to parliament. Since the payment of compensation to the hospitals, nursing homes and Spitex is anticipated to be made in 2021, the supplementary loan is being applied for for the 2021 budget.