• In order to fill the NHIF, the BMA wants the health contribution to rise to 12% starting 2015

    November 12, 2014

    500 million BGN are being cut from the insurance of the officials

    The insurance contribution, which everyone pays, has to be increased by 12% starting next year, and the increase has to be 1% on an year by year basis – this proposal will be made by Bulgarian Medical Association (BMA) to the new healthcare minister – declared the chairman of the Professional organization, Dr. Tsvetan Raichinov. This way the National Health Insurance Fund will start receiving more funds starting 2015, added Dr. Raichinov.

    He motivates the proposal of the Association with the fact that initially, when the healthcare insurance reform started in 2000 and the first healthcare strategy after the changes in 1989 was written, the contribution of 12% was fixed. Later the managers of that time united around the view that the percent in question should be 8, where 50:50 of the sum for health insurance is paid by the employee and respectively the employer.

    Unfortunately, the envisaged 12% were stopped due to shortsightedness and pure populism. As a result, the reform has not developed for the lack of sufficient funds, said the chairman of the BMA. Now everyone wants a reform, but no one is clear where it should start, he added.

    According to Dr. Raichinov, before the increase of the insurance contribution, the state has to pay properly the health contributions to NHIF for the nine groups of citizens, among which are the retired, the students, the prisoners, the ones who work in the judiciary and the government officials. Currently the Treasury pays the full amount of 8% only for the retired. For the other groups it pays 4%, while not making deductions from the wages of the individuals themselves. Despite the 8% health insurance contribution for the retired, it is calculated on a statistical basis. It is not clearwhether it takes into account the actual amount of the pensions, said Dr. Tsvetan Raichinov.

    According to his calculations, if the state begins to insure the groups in question at 8%, each year the NHIF will be receiving not less than 500 million BGN. In his words, only when these funds come into the healthcare system, can we consider what the next steps in the reform will be. The chairman of the Bulgarian Medical Association was adamant that there should be more control over how the funds allocated for treatment from NHIF are spent.

    Other opinions of patients’ organizations on the topic

    Federation “Bulgarian Patients’ Forum”: We need a reform, not more money

    Will the health insurance contribution be increased by 1 or by 12%, this will not solve the problems of Bulgarian healthcare. These were the words of Ivan Dimitrov, President of the Federation “Bulgarian Patients’ Forum” and a longtime member of the supervisory board of the NHIF. It is necessary first to have a genuine reform take place, so we know, as patients and people who insure themselves, where is our money going. With the current structure of the sector, no matter how many funds are poured into it, there will be no effect and there cannot be any. The facts are: poor hospital management, insufficient control of the funds spent by the NHIF. The result of this is the constantly growing number of admissions to medical institutions, so they can take their money. To these problems we can add that the money of the Fund has been diverted to other things. A typical and recent example of this is the means for hemodialysis, which in turn worsened its quality, respectively the condition of the patients, who had to undergo it.

    With this in mind, we cannot wish to increase the contribution of the poorest and the sickest people in the European Union. People in this country cannot give more, they are sensitive to any increase, especially when their funds will be taken for something that is not of quality. Until we have such a model of transparency, in order to know at every point of time what is happening with our money, there will be no effect. For this to happen, it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. There are suitable models in Europe; it suffices to borrow one of them. However, this requires political will.