Maric: Drug wholesalers to receive HRK 1.84 bn after budget revision

NEWS 26.10.2020 18:54
Source: Ilustracija

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Monday, after meeting with drug wholesalers, that following a payment of HRK 300 million last Friday, a total of 1.84 billion would be secured in the 2020 budget revision for the payment of the debt to them.

The budget revision will secure HRK 1.34 billion for the Health Ministry and an additional HRK 200 million for the Croatian Health Insurance Fund to pay pharmacies for medicines, said Maric.

Details of money re-allocations will be known on Thursday when the budget revision will be discussed by the cabinet, he said.

The aim is to reduce payment deadlines to 180 days and to settle all costs exceeding that. He said that the legally prescribed due payment period of 60 days can only be possible if new debts are not generated, which requires adopting measures that will enable that.

“This is a complex problem and we will do what is in our power so that disruptions in the supply chain do not occur, primarily for medicines, but while resolving these problems it is also necessary to adopt measures that will not lead to generating new liabilities,” he said.

“It would be great if the the problem of the debt to drug wholesalers, primarily old and current debts, were the only problem. Debts to wholesalers amount to between HRK 4.5 and 5 billion, while the total debt of the health system as of 30 September reached HRK 10.5 billion. Each month an additional HRK 200 million of new liabilities is generated by the system and in the past two months that dynamic has even accelerated due to Covid,” said Maric.

Beros: Total liabilities in health system have increased to more than HRK 13 billion

Health Minister Vili Beros said that some hospitals had not reported a shortage of medicines yet, so he assumes they have certain stocks and that there will be sufficient supplies until the 2020 state budget is revised.

He said that the health system’s total liabilities have increased to HRK 13 billion and that was more compared to last year for two reasons, increased wages in health and higher expenditure for particularly expensive medicines.

He added that from the first day of his term in office he has been warning of the disproportion between investments in the health system and what is being offered to insurees.

“Croatia allocates a little more than €800 per capita, which is 7.4% of GDP, and that is far below the EU average where that percentage is 9.9% or an average of €3,070 per capita. We ensure almost equal rights as those in Scandinavian countries but with far less money,” Beros explained and added that with that in mind, the health system can be assessed as very good.

Seeing that health systems are 5-10% more expensive each year, it is necessary to increase the allocation to the health budget, if we wish to retain this level of rights for insurees, through contributions and transfers from the state budget, he added.

Drug wholesalers were pleased with today’s meeting but warned that until the 2020 state budget is revised, some difficulties in the supply of medicines would occur.

“All we can say is that we will have difficulties in supplying medicines until the budget revision. The reason is that we too are faced with certain blockades by suppliers and shortages of medicines and we cannot deliver what we do not have in stock,” Dijana Percac said on behalf of drug wholesalers.