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 Bulgarian Hospitals Angry about State Funding Cuts

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PostSubject: Bulgarian Hospitals Angry about State Funding Cuts   Mon 9 Aug 2010 - 14:39

[size=55:xzbq2fnf]novinite 09 August 2010

Bulgarian Hospitals Angry about State Funding Cuts

A new drastic cut of state funding leaves hospitals with money, covering only the salaries of the staff, while the rest should be paid by the patients.

A few days ago, heads of hospitals have been asked to sign annexes to their individual contracts with the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK) for August, envisioning serious cuts of their budgets.

“The cuts of the budget are of 30-40% and basically the money that the hospitals will receive can cover only the salaries for the staff. In this way, the patient will have to pay everything – electricity, water, consumables, medicines, etc,” said Tsvetan Raychinov, Head of the Bulgarian Doctors Union, in an interview for the Bulgarian “Mediapool”.

Hospitals around the country have already stated they will stop the planned hospitalization and will provide medical services only to the emergencies.

This is the case with the multi-profiled hospital in the Bulgarian city of Shumen. According to the signed annex for August, the budget for the hospital will cover only 65% of the previous activities and will allow treatment of only emergency patients.

Raychinov has stated that the hospitals in the Bulgarian cities of Yambol, Targovishte and Kyustendil are also experiencing difficulties.

“We receive complaints about the new cuts of the funding from hospitals from all over the country,” he said and added that in his opinion, the emergency hospitalization, as well as the planned one, is in danger.

On Monday, head of hospitals in the Bulgarian city of Stara Zagora announced they will not sign the annexes. The heads of eight multi-profile hospitals form the region have signed a declaration, stating they will stop working and start protesting if they do not receive a clear vision by NZOK.

“The new medical standards require a certain number of medical specialists and activities, provided with medical equipment. This cannot be provided with the limited budget. This imposes a stop of the hospitals’ activities,” the declaration states.

However, some hospitals have signed the annexes.

“A huge pressure for the signing of the annexes is exerted over the hospitals. They have been warned that if they do not sign, they will not receive previous money they have to be paid,” Raychinov said.

From the beginning of the year NZOK is paying irregularly and incompletely the owed money to the hospitals. From June 1, the fund started paying them only the fixed amounts of the delegated budgets.

Previously, the hospitals received money for their actual activities after being checked by the fund. From the beginning of June, with the strictly fixed budgets, the hospitals have turned on the work regime, defined as “100% patients in 80% budget” by the head of NZOK Neli Nesheva.

With the latest cuts, some hospitals will have to work with 50% budget.

The Bulgarian Doctors Union has sent letters to the regional doctors associations, stating that the annexes should not be signed because they are in contradiction with the arrangement from the National Framework Contract (NRD).

Raychinov has expressed his concert that soon suppliers of medical consumables and medicines will stop delivering.

“Until now they were waiting because they were promised that by the middle of the year the financial situation will be normalized and the hospitals will receive their money, with which they could pay them. Now, however, the hospitals are absolutely incapable to pay the suppliers,” he said.

He also added that the new cuts happen without any reasoning on the NZOK side. In his words, it is all because of financial savings.

Raychinov has pointed out that the leadership of the Bulgarian Doctors Union will gather to discuss the situation and find a solution.

The Union, however, has announced it has sent a letter to Nesheva with the demand for “immediate stop of this practice”, which “does not lie on any normative basis, and has no law or legal arguments”.

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PostSubject: Re: Bulgarian Hospitals Angry about State Funding Cuts   Fri 17 Sep 2010 - 15:20

[size=55:dq5ogoah]Sofia echo 17 September 2010

Bulgarian doctors reject financing proposal, prepare for protest rallies

Bulgaria's doctors union decided on September 17 to hold a number of protest rallies nationwide, culminating in a big protest on October 15 in Sofia, to protest against what they see as insufficient funding for the health care sector, having rejected another financing proposal put forth by the Finance Ministry.

The ministry's proposal, tabled a new proposal to appease the growing anger of the country's hospitals, envisioned monthly subsidies to hospitals of 80 million leva until the end of the year, while 125 million leva owed from this year's allocation would be made available in the first quarter of 2011, private Bulgarian television channel bTV reported.

The proposal was presented by Deputy Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov during an extraordinary congress of the doctors' union on September 17

The chronic financial crisis from which the Bulgaria hospitals are suffering means that dozens of institutions across the country have ceased planned operations and have substantially reduced treatment capacity even in emergency cases.

In fact, when Goranov appeared at the emergency hearing, he was met by a violent verbal abuse from the medics, abuse which eventually forced him to leave.

Unhappy with the ministry's continued insistence on deferred payment of this year's full allocation, the union said that must be made available immediately or hospitals would not be able to cope, since they were already in debt to their respective suppliers.

Union head Dr Tsvetan Raichinov claimed that 455 million leva were missing from the coffers of the National Health Insurance Fund, to which all employed and self-employed Bulgarians are contributing eight per cent of their monthly income.

It was also revealed of cases in certain hospitals where medical staff had not received salaries as much as for four months, or hospitals which had run out of essential supplies.

The economic recession has hit hard Bulgaria's open economy, which has resulted in a large drop in Budget revenue. The union claims that the Cabinet has redirected some of the health care insurance funding to other areas, leaving hospitals and doctors under-financed.

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PostSubject: Re: Bulgarian Hospitals Angry about State Funding Cuts   Sun 17 Oct 2010 - 16:46

Doctors from Bulgaria’s Sliven Announce Protest

At a special meeting of the Bulgarian Doctors Union, physicians from the Bulgarian town of Sliven have decided to start an effective protest.

The doctors have also demanded the resignation of the Chair of the Bulgarian Doctors Union, Tsvetan Raychinov, because of the agreement he signed with the government, which guarantees that health insurance contributions will be used only for health care and not to fill other budget gaps.

The doctors from Sliven have stated that the agreement text differs drastically from the approved version of the National Council of the Doctors Union.

They also said that the date of the protest will be announced on October 19 when Bulgaria celebrates the Doctors Day.

The Sliven physicians have stated they will organize their own festivities but will not participate in the national ceremonies, organized by the managing council, as a sign of protest.

Last week, some of the doctors from Sofia also demanded Raychinov’s resignation over the signed agreement.

“It is impossible that 30,000 people have the same opinion,” Raychinov said Sunday for the Bulgarian National Radio, as a comment on the fact that part of the doctors did not approve the agreement between him and the government.

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PostSubject: Re: Bulgarian Hospitals Angry about State Funding Cuts   Thu 13 Jan 2011 - 17:13

if you can afford, private health care is always the best option, no waiting, less hassle and good service.
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PostSubject: Re: Bulgarian Hospitals Angry about State Funding Cuts   Thu 13 Jan 2011 - 23:34

This is very true Zuzi so can you tell us all more about it, you seem to know quite a lot about or you have had some good experience and it would be good to share it if you don't mind that is T
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PostSubject: Re: Bulgarian Hospitals Angry about State Funding Cuts   Sun 16 Jan 2011 - 13:23

yes Carmen, there are different providers, actually you pay a bit more, but what you get is worth every peny, Bulgarian health care system is complicated enough if you are a foreigner, and always in a foreign country you may expect somebody to take advantage of you and mostly of your money.
Private heath care usually have doctors that can speak english ( 98%), offer quick and personal service and if you calculate it, don't cost that much on the final bill. Another option is that you have health insurance from your home country and when in Bulgaria, you can exercise your rights, as Bulgaria is EU member and UK providers like BUPA have their authorized agents here. c
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PostSubject: Re: Bulgarian Hospitals Angry about State Funding Cuts   Sun 16 Jan 2011 - 17:34

To pay private in Bulgaria is very cheap forget about claiming their system is second to none believe me

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PostSubject: Re: Bulgarian Hospitals Angry about State Funding Cuts   Thu 20 Jan 2011 - 16:36

I manage it myself to be honest, but people I know had problems with this before, so you never know, maybe you was lucky...
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