• General Tonev, chairman of the health committee in the National Assembly: pensioner’s fees should not be increased, but they have to be compensated

    December 3, 2014

    User fees for pensioners should not be increased, but a way should be found that they are compensated. To increase the tax for the rest of the people is also not a solution. He indicated that in most European states there is alleviation for seniors.

    To say nothing that there are states where they have been covered by the state or the health funds. It is not clear whether a populist decision is not at the expense of the health units, he added.

    Before the beginning of the conference “The patient at the center of the system,” dedicated to the priorities in healthcare, the former Director of the Military Medical Academy, now an MP from GERB and chairman of the health committee in the parliament, commented the schedule  set by the Health Minister Petar Moskov and included an electronic health card, the basic package of activities to be undertaken by the Health Fund, and those who would be taking up the health funds, the contracts with hospitals, etc.

    This type of schedule should be accepted before the budget. It should be corrected according to the budget possibilities. According to such a schedule timeframes should be set which would be the basis for the conversations with other subjects – the BMA, patients’ organizations. The problem is at the expense of what and whom should the reform take place. The patient is most important, his/her requirements and to what degree the financial resources, which the state could provide, are important to the patient. The patient has to control the funds which come with him/her. There is the question about the effective use of the funds for healthcare and the controlling organ should be the Health Fund. Part of the control functions of the audit and the ministry should be transferred to the NHIF. But this is among the priorities of the health minister.

    With regard to the idea of merging hospitals on a regional basis General Tonev said that the problem in this merging is it should not lead to even greater costs for the system.

    The electronic health card would allow the Ministry, the Health Fund, and the hospitals themselves to receive direct information flow, which at any time would be able to indicate where the patient is, what has been done and how much it costs. Of course, there is duplication of activities, and they lead to the payment of the same meaningless service. The main problem is the lack of coordination, the question is more organizational, he said.