Government and drug wholesalers reach agreement on debt settlement

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ZAGREB, April 14, 2021 – Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Wednesday that the government and representatives of drug wholesalers have reached an agreement on a debt settlement program.

The debt issue forced wholesalers to restrict and delay drug deliveries to hospitals in late March.

“Today’s meeting is one more step towards debt settlement,” Minister Beroš said, adding that only the two sides could solve this decades-old problem which has been exacerbated during the pandemic. of COVID-19.

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić presented the elements of the program.

Over the next three months, we will transfer funds to the Croatian Health Insurance Agency (HZZO) and the Ministry of Health to enable the cash flow of these institutions and to allow them to pay debts to wholesalers and providers, Marić said, adding that these funds would be secured through the redirection and reallocation of spending in the state budget.

The monthly allocation for hospitals will be HRK 600 million and an additional HRK 300 million for pharmacies.

In June, the government is expected to carry out a budget revision in which additional cash flow for hospitals and pharmacies will be ensured so that the debt carryover period does not exceed 180 days for hospitals and 120 days for pharmacies.

In June alone, 135 million kuna will be directed to pharmacies and 760 million HRK to hospitals, with the intention of respecting the postponement periods for the rest of the year.

Marić hopes this ploy will remove any need for another meeting with debt wholesalers.

The finance minister also expects reform efforts to prevent further accumulation of debt and, in this context, he mentioned plans to reduce the deferral period to 60 days.

Representative of the wholesalers Diana Percač thanked the ministers for the efforts to provide funds to cover the debt.

It has also pledged to continue delivering drugs to pharmacies until the end of this year.

(€1 = HRK 7.571658)

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