Increase in Charges for Health Records Deferred

In Guatemala, the Ministry of Health will delay for six months, the entry into force of the increase in the cost of procedures such as the issuance of licenses and health records, necessary to market food and medicines.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

On December 1, 2020, by means of Governmental Agreement 179-2020, the new fees for the services of procedures of licenses, registrations and other processes for medicines, laboratories, pharmaceuticals, food products and others came into effect.

With the modifications applied there are costs that rose between 1,000% and 4,000%. These increases caused discomfort in different sectors, such as the Chamber of Industry of Guatemala (CIG), the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (Agexport), the Association of Pharmacists and Chemists (Cofaqui) and the Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala.

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Given the discontent expressed, the authorities of the Ministry of Health decided to postpone the entry into force of these increases.

Amelia Flores, Minister of Health, told that "... The agreement 'came into effect on December 1, today (December 2) another one is issued to give a space of 6 months to have this time to discuss these tariffs."

According to the Technical Vice-Minister of Health, Lucrecia Ramírez, "... for three years the studies for this increase were carried out and that in Central America 'we are the ones who pay the least. There are many differences in the payments of fees that are made today, it is perceived that the increase is overdone, but they are amounts that are accessible."

According to Cofaqui representatives, the Ministry of Health did not ask the College for an opinion, as it had done on previous times, and neither was there any time for health professionals to prepare for the entry into force of the new fees.

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