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Import barriers impact Argentina's health system

Friday, July 21st 2023 - 09:06 UTC
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There is an imminent risk of a shortage of products, spare parts, and supplies for medical equipment used in surgeries, diagnoses, and treatments. There is an imminent risk of a shortage of products, spare parts, and supplies for medical equipment used in surgeries, diagnoses, and treatments.

High-tech surgeries such as transplants and other treatments have been put on hold in Argentina due to restrictions on imports that have resulted in a lack of medical inputs leading to the suspension of transplants and other treatments, Buenos Aires' Clarín reported.

 In this scenario, medical care in the South American country has become more and more complicated as appointments with physicians are also a rare commodity due to poor wages.

Chambers bringing together health care practitioners and suppliers have asked Ministers Carla Vizzotti (Health) and Sergio Massa (Economy) to review the current situation and solve the delays in the approval and new deadlines for the payment of SIRAs (Import System of the Argentine Republic) affecting the availability of medical supplies.

“The current regulatory and exchange restrictions prevent the normal supply of the health system, which will imminently affect the performance of clinical analyses, forcing the suspension of interventions such as transplants and surgeries, putting the lives of the country's patients at risk”, states a document accessed by Clarín. “Fiscal warehouses are full of supplies and critical elements even with temperatures and difficulties to preserve them,” the report added while stating that “70% of the health decisions require studies and analyses, and they are not medicines, so there is a gap.”

In the end, it all boils down to the shortage of foreign currency to pay for basic and critical supplies, Clarín also pointed out. “The solution proposed to the authorities is immaterial in terms of foreign currency because all the supplies that today are in supply difficulties represent less than 1% of the Argentine foreign trade,” the newspaper's sources underlined.

The laboratories and companies denounced that “the impact of the shortage of this type of critical products is very important and that it is serious for the healthcare system and, ultimately, for the patients.”

There is an imminent risk of a shortage of products, spare parts, and supplies for medical equipment used in surgeries, diagnoses, and treatments.

The requests were made by the Argentine Chamber of Inputs, Implantables and Medical Equipment (CADIEM); the Chamber of the Traumatology Industry (CADIT); the Argentine Chamber of Medical Implant Manufacturers (CAFIME); the Argentine Chamber of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Manufacturers and Traders (CAFYCOR); the Argentine Chamber of Health Industries of the Province of Córdoba (CAISAL); the Argentine Chamber of Electro-medical Equipment Manufacturers (CAPEEM); the Argentine Chamber of Diagnostic Reagents (CAPRODI) and the Argentine Union of State Suppliers, Subcommission of Reagents and Diagnostic Elements (UAPE Red), Clarín also said.

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