Minister doesn’t rule out raising health care tax to tackle ballooning drug debt

NEWS 30.03.2021 18:57
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Source: Pixabay (ilustracija)

Health Minister, Vili Beros, said on Tuesday that "everything would be done for citizens" not to be left without the necessary medicines, after the country's largest drug supplier company said it would suspend deliveries to all but one state-run hospital over ballooning debts.

Beros “did not rule out” raising health care contributions – a proportion of gross salary paid into the country’s health care budget, currently set at 16.5 percent of net salary – as a way to tackle the chronic problem of the perennially indebted health system.

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Earlier on Tuesday, the Zagreb-based Medika wholesaler said it had suspended drug deliveries to all but one hospital in the country, over unpaid debts for drugs which reached 2 billion kuna (€264 million).

In response, Beros held a news conference in which he said that “a short-term solution had been agreed” with the Finance Ministry, and that it would be made public after a meeting with drug wholesalers on Wednesday.

“We are aware of the problem and will propose a solution that has been agreed with the Finance Ministry. We will do our best so that no Croatian is left without the medicines they need,” Beros said.

Beros refused to reveal any numbers, but added that this is a short-term solution, designed to help the health care system tide over the next few months. He was asked if the plan included raising prices of medical services.

“Not directly”, Beros said, adding that “but employer-paid health care contributions could be increased.”

(€1 = 7.57 kuna)

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