Report finds an individual hospital room is seven times more expensive than a shared or 2-bed rooom
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    Report finds an individual hospital room is seven times more expensive than a shared or 2-bed rooom

    Credit: Belga

    In 2017, a patient in a single room had to pay €1,798 for the cost of his hospital stay in a single room, whilst those staying in a shared room or with two beds had to pay, on average, €248 from their own pocket. The findings emerge from the Annual Hospital Barometer report, published by Solidaris on Friday. An individual room is seven times more expensive, laments the Socialist mutual insurance company.

    The price differential between the two rooms comes especially from the extra charges the room entails, and the fees for an individual room.

    Moreover, whilst the invoice for a shared room or that of two beds remained relatively stable compared to 2016 (an average of €247), that of an individual room has increased by 3.2%. The increase may particularly be explained by the growth in additional fees, which were worked out as €1,181 in 2017, compared to €1,107 in 2016. Room supplements are increasing by 9% year on year.

    So as to avoid nasty surprises, Solidaris in particular advises patients to make enquiries before admission to hospital. In particular, on its website it makes available a comparison module for various hospital establishments.

    Moreover, the mutual insurance company is asking for the introduction of a compulsory estimate for planned and non-urgent surgery, as well as for costly outpatient treatments. The concept of the estimate would apply to all services provided, and the doctor concerned would undertake to abide by the system. It would not be possible to invoice additional amounts thereafter owing to complications, or because the patient stays in the hospital longer than anticipated.

    The Annual Hospital Barometer costing report has relied upon invoicing data from Solidaris affiliates relating to stays in hospital in 2017, a total of 529,345 regular admissions. Single room stays related to 16% of such affilates’ data.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times