Medical Device Industry saves lives, but is dying in agony!
Saglik Endüstrileri Platformu (Healthcare Industries Platform) represents medical device manufacturers, importers, and suppliers who develop, manufacture and supply medical products, medical technologies and relevant services used for diagnosing, monitoring, managing and curing diseases for the purpose of ensuring patients to live long and healthy lives in Turkey.
Healthcare Industries Platform would like to describe the obstacles we face in continuing to serve the public health to you for your information.
Is there any other industry getting paid in two years?
Reimbursement terms applied by public hospitals and university hospitals for the medical devices they buy are no longer reasonable; hospitals run by the Ministry of Health pay in 9 months, while hospitals run by universities pay in 24 months.
The above mentioned hospitals pay their debts to medical device suppliers only after paying all of their other debts. They give priority to pay for the secondary services (i.e. maintenance, repair, cleaning, catering, etc.) they buy instead of paying for the medical devices they buy. Both these delays and this industry’s inability to access to loan facilities push this industry into a dead-end bottleneck.
Healthcare Provision Decree (SUT) needs to be updated regularly
A review of the other cost categories (electricity, water, natural gas, salaries and social security contributions of staff, cleaning, transportation, catering, furniture, maintenance-repair, etc.) of the above mentioned hospitals shows that the medical device is the only category where the prices have not been increased in proportion with foreign exchange rates, inflation rate and minimum wage increases in the last 12 years.
Prices payable for medical devices bought by hospitals are determined under the Healthcare Provision Decree (SUT). US$-Turkish Lira exchange rate was 1.32 when the SUT was issued for the first time in 2007. To date the said exchange rate increased 4.5 times and the cumulative inflation rose to 196%. However, neither the medical device nor medical service prices were revised or updated to date.
Public health under severe threat
Because of the facts that the SUT prices are not updated and that debts of certain hospitals are overdue:
• Medical device companies are obliged to downsize or to close down due to the low prices and the late payment policy day after day, and their personnel who must have undergone rigorous training and who are experienced and competent find themselves unemployed.
• It is no longer feasible to maintain a dealership network, so that medical devices in certain categories are available only in big cities;
• Products sold are not replenished or manufactured;
• In order to close this deficit, hospitals and healthcare professionals have to use medical devices whose quality is uncertain or which they have not experienced enough at clinic level yet,
• Supply problems make physicians unable to diagnose their patients or to treat their patients in full and on time,
• Although Social Security Agency must reimburse all medical products available, patients can use them only if they pay for them out of their pocket.
The present situation damages the communication between healthcare professionals and patients, between hospitals and patients, prevents patients from accessing to diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible, and is now a public health problem expanding day after day.
Medical devices save lives!
Medical Device Industry provides the public with priority products ensuring to diagnose and treat diseases.
A dressing put on a wound is a medical device.
A pacemaker making a heart tick, an artificial heart valve solving a problem of a heart valve failure, a catheter, balloon or stent correcting a vascular occlusion, and an artificial heart support device buying time for a heart implantation is a medical device.
Probes and urine bags for babies, children and adults are medical devices.
Laboratory tests conducted at laboratories and injectors and tubes used for taking samples for diagnosis purposes are medical devices.
Wound care products are medical devices.
MR, tomography, ultrasound and other imaging equipment are medical devices.
Knee and hip prostheses ensuring patients to pursue active lives are medical devices.
Dialysis machines are medical devices.
Brain and pain batteries are medical devices.
Diabetic measurement devices, diabetic glucose pens, and pens and needles used for insulin injections are medical devices.
Hand tools used for all kinds of closed or laparoscopic surgical operation, sutures closing the cuts, patient bedside monitors, and post-operative intensive care equipment are medical devices.
The devices described above comprise only a small part of the available medical devices.
Medical Device Industry struggles to stay alive!
After comparing the commercial, manufacture, value-added, employment and technology levels of various manufacture industries and after analyzing the inter-industry forward and back connections, 11th Development Plan classified the Medical Device İndustry as one of the priority industries. Medical Device İndustry expects to see concrete steps to be taken to give it the priority in question to solve its problems for good.
Having paid the maximum attention and care to ensure the public health not to be affected to date, Medical Device İndustry now struggles to stay alive. The sustainability of the gains obtained through the investments made in healthcare in recent years in this country depends on the survivability of all stakeholders in this industry.
With our best regards,