People with cancer, mental health and chronic skin diseases will be receiving all necessary therapies, diagnostics, medicines and procedures in one place – a large hospital in the area.
The Health Ministry will be closing the dispensaries for the respective diseases and they will merge with general hospitals, confirmed the Health Minister Dr. Petar Moskov in front of the Parliamentary Health Committee. This will be done through amendments to the Medical Institutions Act, discussed by the Committee. Among the reasons was mentioned the duplication of structures and activities in dispensaries and hospitals, making the existence of the current oncology centers, mental and skin disorders “pointless”.
The merger aims patients to receive combined services in one place, and not to be sent for everything to different structures, explained Dr. Moskov. He described the situation of the patient as “a small animal in the jungle among the predators, where there is no way for him.” The liquidation of dispensaries is also a recommendation of the World Bank, said the Deputy Minister Dr. Vanyo Sharkov.
The intention of the Health Ministry created tensions among dispensary patients. “The monitoring of these patients continues for life. In a merger of oncology centers with general hospitals – who will be committed to this long term? The creation of large structures will worsen and commercialize the treatment of patients,” said Dr. Parashkev Tsvetkov, a surgeon in the Plovdiv Oncological Dispensary.
The Oncology Clinic in Blagoevgrad took part in protest demonstrations last week. Doctors from the hospital “St. Mina” were supported by the Mayor Dr. Atanas Kambitov and the President of the Municipal Council Radoslav Taskov. “We do not agree with the proposals of the Minister. As a physician and a mayor, I am against the amendments to the Medical Institutions Act. The Oncology Hospital is municipal 100%. The municipality has invested in it BGN 1 million – separately from the operational programs. The changes will not improve the treatment quality,” explained Mayor Kambitov. “There is no way to legislate changes so that municipal property becomes state property without the decision of the Municipal Council, and there has been no such decision,” specified Taskov.
“This is a good step by the Health Ministry, as most clinics in the country are hollow structures. However, there is a real problem with the property – in most cases the dispensaries are municipal and cannot be transferred into state structures,” explained Prof. Valentin Ignatov, Head of the Association of University Hospitals.
The idea of the Health Ministry regarding the merger of dispensaries and hospitals is to take place within a year.