Bulgaria Names New Health Minister
Bulgaria's prime minister has nominated Stefan Konstantinov for new health minister to replace Anna-Maria Borisova, who quit Wednesday over a funding row that has put hospitals in debt, the governmental press office announced.
Stefan Konstantinov is deputy chairman of the Managing Board of the Bulgarian Doctors' Union and member of the Board of Directors of hospital "Nikola Vassilev" at the town of Kyustendil.
The nomination for new health minister will be put to the vote in parliament on Wednesday.
Bulgaria's Health Minister Anna-Maria Borisova resigned unexpectedly on Wednesday amidst heated public debates on the fate of controversial measures for health care reforms in the country.
Borisova stepped down only a few months after she took over from her predecessor Bozhidar Nanev, who resigned at the end of March 2010 over a conflict of interest investigation.
Borisova has come under tremendous criticism for failing to start badly needed reforms in Bulgaria's crumbling health care sector as the National Health Insurance Fund has had to receive additional subsidies from the state budget, and the government has discussed shutting down dozens of hospitals in small towns around the country.
In mid September, Bulgaria's Doctors' Union declared they will stage a national protest on October 15, 2010, demanding the resignations of the Health Minister and the Finance Minister over the troubles in the health sector.
Meanwhile the opposition socialists are preparing a no confidence vote against the government because of its public health policy.
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People can't get free medicine, that's all there is to it. There is no free lunch. Doctors have to get paid and eat, too. This minister should have the courage to tell it like it is and do what has to be done. He should tell the people that while free medical care is a great program to have, we just can't afford it. Get over it and move on. Medical care is not a privilege everyone can have for free. Someone has to pay the doctors.