Bulgaria: Refugees from Ukraine will have Free Health Insurance

Politics | March 31, 2022, Thursday // 16:14
Bulgaria: Bulgaria: Refugees from Ukraine will have Free Health Insurance

Refugees from Ukraine who receive temporary protection status in Bulgaria will be mandatory health insured. This was decided at the first reading by the deputies after a heated debate in which GERB voted against but in the end the majority of deputies from Boyko Borissov's party supported the proposal. Vazrazhdane voted against, while 16 people from GERB and 12 from the Movement of Rights and Freedoms (DPS) abstained.

Thus, Ukrainians will enjoy the full range of medical care paid for by the NHIF, according to amendments to the Health Insurance Act, adopted at first reading by MPs.

“There are many other refugees, not only from Ukraine, this is discrimination, the health insurance will weigh on all of us”, said Elena Guncheva of Vazrazhdane. Kostadin Angelov of GERB initially said that his party would not support the changes because it was unclear where the money would come from.

Professor Georgi Mihailov from the Bulgarian Socialist Party addressed GERB with the words: “You do not want to give humanitarian aid to the Ukrainians in Bulgaria but you want to give military aid, how does that work”, and for the theses of “Vazrazhdane” he said that it cannot be discrimination because this applies to all those who have received temporary protection, regardless of ethnicity or nationality. “This is a terrible war between countries with a population of 150 million and 60 million,” Mihailov said, adding that the behavior of both parties is unforgivable and unworthy.

Iskren Mitev from “We Continue the Change” said that the money will come from unspent European funds, which the European Commission has allowed to be restructured. However, during the debate it became clear that the money will not only come from funds, but also from the budgets of the Ministry of Health and the Health Insurance Fund.

The issues of financing and the scope of providing Ukrainians with temporary protection will be resolved before the second reading.

The debates went through inflation, mutual accusations of pre-election talk about “early elections coming soon”, fuel prices, the border fence for Syrian refugees and other topics.

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