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Finance negotiates with Europe to limit the list of items affected

TheVAT healthforce to reduce hospital equipment in public schools. The autonomous communities - main borrowers of service - will pay up to 800 million euros a year when buying scanners, X-ray machines, bandages, plasters, syringes, protective, clinical thermometers, sterile gloves ...

The list includes many of the products needed by patients in their treatments. The sharp increase in the tax, and therefore the cost, further weakens the public service, which is facing a budget cut luck again. The Spanish government has initiated discussions with the European Commission (EC) to reduce the number of references affected and cushion, so the impact.

The sentence

The Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) has issued a ruling that forces Spain to raise the VAT from 10% today to 21% for these items. The resolution affects especially autonomy, representing 80% of the regulars of this industry.

Sources of the Spanish Federation of Healthcare Technology Companies (Fenin) indicate that the sector's turnover is 7,700 million euros and above this amount, 770 million were paid in VAT. Now, with the increase in 11 points, lto figure shoots up to 1,600 million. Therefore, the regional governments will be reduced purchasing power.

Products affected

The list of products included in the new tax is extensive: from wheelchairs to CT scanners and used by hospitals. But it also affects patients of private healthcare. It is expensive from glasses and hearing aids, implants and prostheses to orthopedics, cardiology or ophthalmology. Only spared from paying the 21% those who demonstrate a loss equal to or greater than 30%, as stated in the legislation.

Fenin ensures that fought tooth and nail with the government to avoid the application of the new tax. He claims that the sector is facing a 300% rise in rate in the past two years.

"This sentence breaks the principle of equality between citizens" as well as present difficulties for patient access to these products, says the federation. He fears a worsening of the debt situation of the regions in the healthcare technology sector, which currently amounts to 3,000 million.

Dealing with Europe

Meanwhile, Finance Ministry sources have said that the decision is binding but does not require immediate implementation. The tax increase could be given within a period of one, two or three months. During this period, negotiations should be developed to reduce the list of expensive materials.

The Government has stressed repeatedly that drugs will not increase the price as it will maintain the reduced rate of 4%. The High Court ruling forces change the law to implement the new tax, parliamentary adaptation has not yet given date.

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