Bulgarian PM Mulls Axing Health Minister

Society » HEALTH | March 8, 2012, Thursday // 11:43
Bulgaria: Bulgarian PM Mulls Axing Health Minister The fate of Bulgarian Health Minister Stefan Konstantinov (pictured) is to be known within a week. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov will decide in a week's time weather or not to sack the country's Health Minister Stefan Konstantinov.

A scandal erupted in February after a spate of media publications claiming that prices of medicines produced by local drug maker Sopharma were higher in Bulgaria than in Serbia and Turkey. Sopharma was also suspected of having established a monopoly in supplying medications to hospitals.

Borisov already dismissed Deputy Health Minister Gergana Pavlova on the grounds that she had failed to explain the pharmaceutical pricing policy.

On Thursday, the Prime Minister announced that he has ordered several inspections that would determine whether Konstantinov was aware of the problem with drug prices were and if he was obliged to be aware of it.

In an interview for Nova TV, Borisov admitted that health care is his government's weakest link.

"It is a pity, since even though we feel we are not coping well, we are puring more and more money into it – nearly BGN 3.5 B – and we cannot detect how it is being siphoned out," he commented.

If Konstantinov is fired over the medication prices scandal, the Prime Minister will have to appoint a fourth Health Minister in the course of less than three years.

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Tags: Stefan Konstantinov, Boyko Borisov, health minister, medication prices, pricing policy, Sopharma

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