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IN SHORT

Drugs suppliers threaten to stop distributing

CASH-strapped Slovak hospitals fighting to pay bills are again facing the threat of life-saving drug supplies being cut off.

The Association of Drug Suppliers (ADL) has said it cannot guarantee even the most important drugs being supplied unless the government starts fulfilling its promises to pay off hospital debts.

ADL representatives said after a meeting April 25 that they want to start demanding payments for drugs within 30 days of delivery or they will stop the supplies. Because of low finances hospitals often pay for supplies months, sometimes years, late.

Debts in the Slovak health sector stand at Sk22 billion ($473 million), according to experts.

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