Bulgarian Health Minister: We Haven’t Missed a Single Day in Summer to Get Prepared for New Epidemic Wave
“We are not to blame for the fact that Bulgaria is now the first by Coronavirus mortality rate in the world. From the very beginning of the epidemic we have been encouraging people to comply with the imposedanti-virus measures. The current situation is the result of non-compliance with the restrictive measures, of underestimating virus hazard and burning masks in front of the Council of Ministers building,“ Health Minister Kostadin Angelov stated on bTV.
The great mistrust accumulated over the years led to this result. There is only one solution – compliance with anti-epidemic measures, disinfection, distance, respect of doctors recommendations, Angelov added.
We do not know if the system needs a major overhaul, whether this reform needs to be started again or not – we have no consensus. Many of the hospitals are so built that new Covid wards have to be made with partitions, with new walls. This is another challenge, Angelov said.
Not a single day of the summer months has been missed. Two days after I took office as minister, I issued an order for the introduction of next measures. I met with the National Operative Staff, we organized everything according to the capacity of the respective field.
The problem is that hospitals are understaffed, we do not have enough medics, explained Angelov. It is very difficult to find doctors and nurses, the problem is not in the lack of buildings and beds, or lack of organization. Have you heard that medical appliances are in short supply, that there are no breathing machines? Hospital patients are not turned down. At the moment we have no shortage of beds, the minister stressed.
The state has estimated that the price it will pay for a PCR test is BGN 60. Every laboratory, apart from disposables, has equipment costs, labor prices, depreciation, electricity, water, additional indirect costs. I know what such a PCR test costs. But the final price is determined by the laboratory. I know it may go up to BGN 120. But if patients have a referral from their GP they will be able to take a PCR test.
PCR is not made at patient’s will, but at the discretion of the doctor
The alignment of antigen tests with PCR will not happen in Bulgaria in the coming days. The European Centre for Disease Control says antigen tests can be applied in those places where we have large groups of people, where we can do screening.
After an antigen test is ready, it should be confirmed by PCR, that is, again it turns out that PCR should be made. Antigen tests are free, handed out to ambulance doctors, to makeshift offices of regional health inspectorates based in vans in front of hospitals. There tests are made free of charge to patients with clinical symptomatology. Treatment is started not on the basis of a positive test, but on the basis of clinical picture, Angelov added.
We are ready to introduce e-referral form. Once the National Framework Agreement is signed, the e-referrals will become a fact, the Minister added. /BGNES
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