No Health Reform Likely Soon, Outgoing Minister Says
Outgoing Health Minister Tanya Andreeva on Monday said Bulgaria is unlikely to soon push through the long-delayed reform of its healthcare sector.
To make the reform one needs proper legislation and financial resources, Andreeva told her closing news conference as member of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski’s Socialist-Liberal coalition cabinet that resigned last month after 14 months in office.
“There has been a lot of talking about healthcare reform in the past year,” said Andreeva who had to urgently cope with frequent protests by medical staff throughout Bulgaria over inadequate financing during her term of office.
“This reform will not take place in the next few years, even if we have a stable parliament simply because we have no financial resources to launch it,” she said.
According to Andreeva, to see its healthcare system reformed, Bulgaria needs to do away with the monopoly of state-controlled National Healthcare Insurance Fund, NZOK, to allow competition from privately held health insurers.
The budget and finance committee in Parliament on Monday decided to increase NZOK funding by BGN 225 M to enable the caretaker cabinet that will take over after the planned dissolution of the chamber later this week to provide financing to hospitals until the end of the year. Parliament is expected to vote into law the proposed NZOK budget update later on Monday.
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