Bulgarian Patients, Doctors Protest Delegated Budgets
Representatives of patient organizations and the Bulgarian Medical Association gathered to protest in front of the Council of Ministers building against the introduction of delegated budgeting for hospitals.
According to them, delegated budgets would prove financially disastrous for hospitals and will lead to long waiting lists for patients.
Bulgarian medics claimed that the Finance Ministry does not regularly pay the health insurance installments for children, pensioners and military servicepeople, who must be insured by the state, and in that way it creates financial hardship for the National Health Insurance fund.
Similar complaints were voiced by the Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Union, which claimed that the state is not executing payments to pharmacies for state-subsidized medicines.
Representatives of patients' organizations sharply criticized the government about mismanagement of funds and a commercial attitude to public health resulting in inadequate services and a systematic breach of patients' rights.
Bulgarian health minister Anna-Maria Borisova met with protesters at the request of PM Boyko Borisov. She downplayed fears of delegated budgets, saying that the measure calls for good management of hospitals. Minister Borisova concurred that there are grave problems in Bulgaria's health system, commenting that “the system is not working and that is clear” and calling for radical reforms.
Later representatives of the people protesting went to meet PM Boyko Borisov.
Representatives of the Medical Association warned of nationwide protests in the fall.
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