U.S. Am­bas­sador chas­tises Turkey for non-pay­ment

Dünya Executive - - BUSINESS - MEHMET KAYA

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.

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