Close to half (48.65%) of all hospitals in Brussels and Wallonia ended fiscal 2020 in the red, l’Echo newspaper reported on Saturday.
The situation was worse in Brussels (81.82%) than in Wallonia (34.62%).
The trend has varied little over the past five years, according to l’Echo, which noted that, from 2017 to 2020, the hospital sector in the two regions experienced four years of losses.
The net operating result of the 37 hospitals in Brussels and Wallonia dropped by 60% in one year and by 188.02% over the five-year period ending in 2020. It went from -22.4 million euros in 2019 to -35.83 million in 2020, resulting in a profit margin of -0.38% last year and -0.14% over five years.
On the other hand, the annual turnover of the hospitals went from 9.4 billion euros in 2019 to 9.52 billion euros in 2020, a 1.22% increase.
The 48 general hospitals in Flanders were generally in better shape, according to l’Echo: over the past 10 years, they all managed to remain in the black, registering a 1% profit margin in the last five years.
However, the newspaper cautions that balance sheets and profit-and-loss accounts present a lopsided picture of the financial situation of the hospitals since the authorities provided the institutions with financial support last year to offset the health crisis and prevent them from encountering cash-flow difficulties.