(Photo: Pixabay) (Photo: Pixabay)

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said the government would present a plan in about ten days' time that would enable the servicing of debts until a more thorough reform of the healthcare system can be completed.

"The idea behind today's meeting was to start a dialogue which will continue in the weeks ahead, and the purpose is to ensure regular functioning and operations," Marić said after the meeting at the Health Ministry.

"It is not our goal today to simply buy time, but rather to ensure, as far as possible, that payments by the Croatian Health Insurance Institute are as regular as possible. We don't want either hospitals or pharmacies to accumulate any additional debt," added Marić.

Diana Percač, who represents drug wholesalers in the Croatian Employers' Association, said no concrete solution was reached today and that drug wholesalers would have to wait for it until the next meeting in about ten days.

"With the supplies that we currently have at hospitals and pharmacies, it is difficult to say which patients will be left without medication and when this will happen. Stocks are limited, so I really can't respond in more detail," explained Percač.

"The payment pace is very important to us so that we can adapt our operations to it. The long-term solution is to gradually reduce the total debt and bring payment within legally defined deadlines," she added.

Last week, debts rose to 6.5 billion kuna, forcing wholesalers to stop delivering medicines to hospitals.

Source: HRT