Beware! Bulgarian Health Care!

Novinite Insider » EDITORIAL | Author: Milena Hristova |January 9, 2008, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Beware! Bulgarian Health Care! Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia Photo Agency)

Finding your way through the maze of Bulgaria's health care system has been difficult for years. A legislative loophole, however, has made it now downright impossible.

The Supreme Administrative Court revoked earlier in the week a provision that gives the state thirty days to pay reimbursement to people on sick leave, citing an international convention.

Just as in a bad joke, the court missed to fix a new period, making the three-day period, envisaged by the convention applicable by default in Bulgaria. As in many other things, the letter of the law is impossible to be applied in practice, making it highly likely for Bulgarians to wait till eternity to get their money.

On Wednesday, following an appeal by the National Insurance Institute, the court upheld its decision.

Social Minister Emilia Maslarova offered little consolation by saying something must be done urgently.

The good news for Bulgarian patients is that the health care system has a new bad guy, officially demonised so that it can be freely abused and hated - the pharmacist.

Widely perceived in Bulgaria as shop keepers, who incidentally happen to save lives when people skip going to the doctor because it takes a day or more off to go through the sluggish procedure, pharmacists were once again blamed by officials of being too eager to pile up cash.

Skipping to mention that surcharge on medicines is accumulated and distributed throughout the chain that takes them from the producer to the patient.

You can say that I am prejudiced, being born into a family of pharmacists. But as Mark Twain once wrote, "I know that I am prejudiced on this matter, but I would be ashamed of myself id I were not".
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