Bulgaria's Health Fund Might Receive Up to BGN 200 M to Tackle Debt
A state grant for debt-ridden National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK) amounting to BGN 200 M (EUR 100 M) could be allocated, NZOK's Supervisory Council says.
The fund might receive a sum between BGN 160 and 200 M within a brief period, the Council's Chairman Boyko Penkov announced after a meeting with representatives of the Bulgarian Medical Association.
Penkov told the Bulgarian National Radio that additional financing to cover NZOK's debts (which are currently BGN 328 M) could come from health insurance installments yet to be collected this year.
The Bulgarian Medical Association for its part warned again if the healthcare budget is not revised, state hospitals will be able to fully meet their needs only until end-June.
Tsvetan Raychinov, who heads the association, earlier said NZOK's money will be over in September and that could put the functioning of healthcare into question.
The Supervisory Council at the NZOK, an important decision-making body managing the fund's expenditure and overseeing the Chairperson's activity, includes 4 government officials, two representatives of employer organizations, two trade union representatives, and one person from patient rights protection structures.
Bulgaria's Health Minister Tanya Andreeva tried to ease down tensions by downplaying fears of money shortage.
"We should not raise fears - we overcame [financial difficulties] last year, and we did with a budget that was nor prepared by this government," she was quoted as saying.
Andreeva was firm that "everybody" would receive the funding they need "regardless of whether through actualization or other means... until the end of the year".
Healthcare was facing similar problems last summer, with the danger of insufficient funding in sight, but the government then allocated additional money.
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