• Petar Moskov prepares restructuring in the financing of healthcare

    November 25, 2014

    The reform plan of the Health Minister enters the Cabinet in two weeks’ time

    Restructuring the healthcare system financing – this is one of the measures that the Health Minister Petar Moskov is preparing as part of a legislative package, which will be submitted to the Council of Ministers by the end of the month. This was announced by Minister Moskov in front of journalists during the presentation of his team.

    He explained that restructuring in financing means a change in the way that payments are currently carried out by the NHIF. It is however not de-monopolization, but an upgrade model of health insurance, he laconically indicated.

    The new way of financing provides an even more rational allocation of the resources in the system, as currently there are areas that are over-financed at the expense of others, Moskov said, adding that more details will be clear in two weeks’ time.

    In the package of the legislative proposals that are to be presented, an emphasis will be placed on the increase in the control functions of the Ministry of Health and the NHIF.

    Regarding the introduction of diagnostic related groups (DRGs) to replace the current clinical pathways Moskov said that the DRGs are not a panacea, but a reasonable approach.

    The budget of the Ministry of Health and that of the Health Insurance Fund for the next year will be lower than the current update, assured Moscow. We recall that with the two updates the NHIF budget received an additional total of about 400 million BGN in excess of the planned budget. MH received 46 million BGN more.

    There will also be changes in the emergency services. Moscov’s team will work to improve the infrastructure, the sanitary transport and the medical equipment. There is an idea to introduce levels of emergency among the patients, so that there is a more efficient allocation between the wards and the outpatient care. The salaries of the emergency doctors will also be increased – it is expected that next year they will be at the level of the salaries of primary care physicians.

    The Minister announced that the Ministry has already prepared a concept for the changes in the emergency services, which will be submitted to the Council of Ministers within days. Moscov said that this concept is necessary in order to justify the request for European program funding.

    According to Moscov, the main objective of the Ministry and his team will be to increase the period of survival of citizens. An emphasis will be placed on maternal and child healthcare and Bulgaria will try to achieve parameters characteristic for the average level of healthcare in Europe.

    The creation of an electronic healthcare system is a priority not only for the Ministry of Health, but also for the government, he said. Funding has already been secured for its construction and next week a competition will be announced for the public contract. Moreover, the Health Ministry will apply for additional funds under the Operational Program “Good Governance”.

    Moscov emphasized that precisely electronic healthcare is the mechanism for making more transparent the patient and cash flows in the system. According to him, this would allow the transfer from payment for services to payment for treatment outcomes.

    Last week, minister Moskov presented his team and the portfolios of the three Deputy Ministers of Health.

    Deputy Minister Dr. Boyko Penkov will be responsible for the introduction of electronic healthcare, for the management of companies, property and capital spending, the regulation and provision of medicinal products and medical devices and the regulation of activities, related to drugs.

    Deputy Minister Dr. Vanyo Sharkov will be responsible for the medical activities, for crisis management, medical education, training and post-graduate training in the healthcare system and the conduct of public procurement.

    Deputy Minister Dr. Adam Persenski will oversee the administration of international projects and specialized donor programs, the coordination of European and international activities, the promotion, prevention and control of public health, as well as the activities related to medicines, including vaccines, carried out by the Chief State Healthcare Inspector of the Republic of Bulgaria.