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Private Clinic Causes Controversy

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Private Clinic Causes Controversy

Klíníkin Ármúla 9.

Photo: Klíníkin Ármúla 9/Facebook.

Klíníkin (‘the Clinic’) in Ármúli plans to open the first privately run inpatient unit in Iceland, RÚV reports. The company plans to reach an agreement with authorities about ways to help shorten wait lists for operations. The clinic will be located at Ármúli 9, Reykjavík.

Types of operations to be offered are orthopedic ones, removal of varicose veins, and cosmetic surgery. The plan is to operate a five-day inpatient unit, meaning that it would be closed on weekends.

No special permit is needed to operate an inpatient unit, but a validation is needed from the Directorate of Health, confirming that all professional requirements are met. Such a validation has been granted to Klíníkin.

The company plans to enter negotiations with the Icelandic Health Insurance about shortening wait lists for various kinds of operations.

Páll Matthíasson, director of Landspítali National University Hospital believes Klíníkin will undermine Landspítali’s specialized health services, according to RÚV. BSRB, the Federation of State and Municipal Employees, encourages Minister of Health Óttarr Proppé to withstand pressure to further privatize healthcare in Iceland.

Páll stated that Lanspítali cooperates with all kinds of privately run health care services, but added, “There has, however, not been any cooperation regarding joint replacement surgery outside the hospital, since we have not requested any assistance in that area.”

Páll is worried that if Klíníkin’s plans are realized, those would undermine a specialty in the hands of a small group of specialists, servicing a specific group of patients. He points out that specialists are a limited resource, and it’s hard enough as it is for Landspítali to staff its positions.

Páll believes the minister of health must make a political decision about whether he allows the Icelandic Health Insurance to negotiate with Klíníkin. If parts of health care are privatized, Páll stated, the law stipulates that care be taken not to let existing services be disrupted.

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