The Bulgarian - European Health Insurance Card Scandal

Letters to the Editor | July 22, 2011, Friday // 07:39

This is how the Bulgarian Health Fund is flouting EU laws for it's own citizens, and also EU people that are seeking health care in Bulgaria, who have an EHIC.

The principle of the card is for a EU citizen to get medical care in any EU country, the same as the people that are there and provided for by they're health service. After that the relevant health service applies to the country where the person who had the treatment came from and a refund is sent ... Simple!

The card covers all medical conditions that became necessary during the stay (even pre-existing ones), so that care is there if needed and the only money that may have to be remunerated, is if the health service involved does not included some things for their own citizens, in the treatment required ..... This is then claimed back by the patient when they return home from their own health authority.

Because the Bulgarian Health Fund are too lazy to fill in the forms and apply for the refunds to the countries where the people seeking medical help came from, this is the scam they have worked out that is easier for them.

The administration has instructed all the hospitals that anyone going for treatment in Bulgaria with a EHIC, are only covered for emergencies and the person must pay for any other medical conditions first in full to the hospital of choice. This way it means no involvement by the Bulgarian Health Fund, but the person needing medical help must some how find the money and then apply for a refund when getting back home.

Imagine if they needed a procedure requiring surgery that is very expensive and don't have the funds readly available?

The one thing I've learnt about the Bulgarian government is that they are equal in their mistreatment of everyone, including their own people.... Unless of course they are well connected or can bribe the appropriate person!

Three months ago the Bulgarian Health Fund pulled the biggest rip-off ever, in connection with the EHIC and their own citizens that still continues.

Because they were getting lots of Bulgarian's seeking medical help in other EU counties, and then having to pay for the treatment costs... They did the following-:

Stopped issuing EHIC cards, using the feeble excuse that the company that was printing them, had now stopped doing the work and a new provider was being sort to continue making them. It seems there's a shortage of companies that can print a plastic card in Bulgaria. I'm sure the mafia would have lots of blank cards readily available !

In its place they gave the person applying for a card, a certificate to be used for all medical care in the applicable country. This was not correct  (which was reported on BTV two months ago), as the health authorities in other EU countries have rejected the certificate, as not being valid for any treatment in their hospitals. Yet again the Bulgarians make up their own rules and have disregard for others.

So, knowingly the Bulgarian Health Fund is committing fraud against EU citizens, causing them really serious problems if they need medical help in Bulgaria. Also, by not complying with EU laws they should be prosecuted, certainly under the EU Human Rights Charter. Lots of Bulgarians are already doing this for many other violations against them and are having great results in the courts.

Every day we hear about the great achievements by the GERB government and how much they are doing with billons of euros from other EU member's money and how pro- European they are.

Of course it's all garbage and a one-way ticket for the rest of the EU community who are financing all this, with no tangible return on their investments.


Keith Gregory

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Tags: European Health Insurance Card, National Health Insurance Fund, National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF)
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