Municipal Hospital Employees Mull New Protests, Possible More Radical Actions

Municipal Hospital Employees Mull New Protests, Possible More Radical Actions

Sofia, February 13 (BTA) - New protests of municipal hospitals are possible and more radical action is being considered, Dr. Nedelcho Totev, Chairman of the Association of Municipal Hospitals in Bulgaria, told journalists Tuesday. In is words, nothing has changed since the last protest in mid-January. Then municipal hospitals demanded state financial assistance to the amount of 30 million leva, raised prices of some 17 clinical pathways according to which municipal hospitals mainly operate, as well as changes in the requirements of medical standards.

The association will insist on a meeting with the President and Bulgarian MEPs, and main roads could also possibly be blocked, Dr. Totev said. To date the clinical pathway prices have not been raised, the medical standards which were refuted in court are published in the same form for public discussion again and, if they are adopted, they will be appealed again, he assured.

According to Stoicho Katsarov, who chairs the Centre for the Protection of Rights in Healthcare, these standards destroy municipal medicare. They lack quality criteria and only contain quantitative requirements, as well as being an instrument for political pressure.

Some municipal hospitals may not live to see the new model of funding discussed by the Minister of Health after the protests, Totev added.

Political will is required to find a prompt solution for some 15 municipal hospitals which are on the brink of collapse, Dimiter Brankov of the Bulgarian Industrial Association said, underscoring that the association supports the demands of the municipal health care establishments.

Source: Sofia