U.S. Ambassador chastises Turkey for non-payment
U.S. Ambassador David M. Sattersfield offered a warning in his speech last week at the final sitting with American companies in the health industry organized by the American Business Forum in Turkey (AmCham.) Reimbursements for medical devices were made too late in the public sector, he said. “Especially the payments from university hospitals extended up to 4 years. This cannot continue.”
Sattersfield indicated that he shared this information with U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, in his visit to Turkey. “Withholding payments is a problem for the U.S. medical device sector. Additionally, it is a constant problem. There are late payments reaching 4 years, especially at university hospitals. A U.S. company withdrew from the market in Turkey because of this. Others may follow. Health investment, whatever Turkey is doing in health, is very good but the price of these should also be payed from the budget,” he said.
The ambassador pointed out that not being in pricing and reimbursement lists is also a barrier against the introduction of innovative medicines to Turkey. “These practices should stop. If Turkey wants innovation and health tourism, these issues become even more important. Negative consequences should now be seen. This can’t go on. Turkey has to carry out key structural studies.”
“We also see reluctance in Europeans”
“The U.S. industry is not in a position to tolerate the insufficient budget in Turkey. Similar things may happen with the European companies. Reluctance is seen in them as well”, said Satterfield, asking he is trying to relay constructive criticism. “Careful and cautious steps need to be taken. A predictable payment system is vital.”
Taking the floor after the ambassador, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency of Turkey Head, Hakki Gursoz, noted: “I was there at the meeting between Ross and Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. These issues were addressed. Mutual requests and problems were discussed and an agreement was reached. Let’s get rid of these problems. A trade volume of $100 billion was also determined at the meeting. I think this can be achieved,” he remarked.