Croatia's largest wholesalers Medika and Oktal Pharma suspended drug delivery to hospitals
Topics: CROATIA MEDIKA
"Since there is no answer from the government, even announcing conversations on our warnings, we have decided that from today no box of medicine will go to any hospital that does not respect the legal payment deadlines of 60 days, which are all hospitals in Croatia except the one in Lovran," Medika CEO Jasminko Herceg told Novi List.
For the national television HRT he added that the company expects one billion kuna tomorrow ($155 million) or "We will have a problem."
"The debt to our wholesaler has grown to more than 2 billion kuna ($309.8 million), in this quarter we delivered goods worth about 1 billion kuna, and they paid us a maximum of 100 million kuna. Health Minister Vili Beros is no longer answering the phone," Herceg said.
Wholesalers had already warned earlier this week that the state's total debt would reach HRK 6.5 billion ($1 billion) by the end of the month. Of this amount, HRK 4.5 billion ($697 million) is due to hospital debt to wholesalers.
Oktal Pharma is on his knees, too. Hospitals and pharmacies owe more than 700 million kuna ($108 million), so the company reduced deliveries.
"At the moment we have 32 hospitals that are either in complete blockade or under a 1 for 1 system: how much they pay, that much they get, and that one hospital that pays is on the verge of a blockade," said Oktal Pharma CEO Ivan Klobučar.
Health Minister Vili Beroš addressed the public after the Medika wholesaler announced today that it is suspending the delivery of medicines to all hospitals in Croatia, except one in Lovran.
Beros said they are "deeply aware of the problem of debts to wholesalers" and that it is a "chronic health problem that has been going on for decades".
"We have some grounding to solve this problem at the moment. The health ministry operates within its budget and cannot solve the problem without the government and finance ministry. We have some solution regarding the accelerated budget transfer that we will present tomorrow at the meeting," he said and added that he believes "the story will go in the right direction". ■