Parliament votes on debt settlement scheme for healthcare providers

Parliament votes on debt settlement scheme for healthcare providers

A bill recently voted by the Greek Parliament gives pharmaceutical firms and other healthcare providers that owe money to state healthcare provider EOPYY the facility to settle their debts in 120 monthly installments, just like other debtors to public bodies, such as social security funds.

The clause was passed in order to avoid pharmaceuticals companies’ and health providers’ excessive indebtedness, of which they had complained.

These so-called “rebates” and “clawbacks” actually represent unilateral decisions by the state, taken at the height of the economic crisis, to force drug makers, doctors and others to charge less for their products or services, in order to reduce what was considered excessive spending on healthcare by the state, from 5.1 billion in 2009 to 1.95 billion last year, a drop of 62 percent.

The measures worked, but private doctors, pharmaceuticals executives and others bitterly complain about the charges and the pharma firms reacted to the measure saying that it will not really help them until the so-called “clawback” by the state is reduced, immediately.

They add that, with the addition of the clawback, their real tax rate amounts to close to 70 percent.

Many doctors also complain that state decisions have made private practice hard to keep up.

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