OPINION

Paying for the state’s mistakes

One of the few successes of the National Health System was the operation of outpatient clinics. These clinics hardly burdened the state budget but were of great service to patients. The future of outpatient clinics is now in doubt because the Economy and Finance Ministry has decided to freeze the off-budget account that was being used to finance their operation. It was a thoughtless move, and one taken without any prior planning. Indeed, the government has not come up with any alternative. As a result, because of the government’s shortsightedness, a sound measure (namely the abolition of most off-budget accounts) has backfired on thousands of patients simply because no one prepared any plans for the day after. The Finance Ministry must move quickly to find money from the state budget to keep the clinics in operation. It is ludicrous that thousands of people should pay the price of the state’s tardiness. When it comes to social policy – the health sector in particular – there is no room for