February 08, 2013 | By Márcio Barra
In a statement issued yesterday to Agência Lusa, Humberto Costa, the general-secretary of the Portuguese Association of Medical Devices (APORMED) stated that the Portuguese public hospitals owed EUR 667 million to medical device companies in late 2012, with an average payment period of 361 days.
This amount includes a portion of the debt accumulated by the end of 2011, around EUR 350 million.
Humberto Costa expressed his concern on this debt, as it “indicates that some hospital entities are walking once again towards accumulating delays in paying the debt, which seems to result from an inability to comply with the Law of Commitment (Lei dos Compromissos)”. He views the law of Commitment as “a positive contribution to the financial sustainability of the Portuguese National Health System”.
The Law of Commitment was a law approved back in February 2012 in Portugal, under the guidance of Troika. This law only allows a public institution, like a hospital, to have expenses when said institution can ensure to have profits and funds for the next three months. This law was created in an attempt to tackle the troubling accumulation of debt to suppliers.