Parliament Passes Conclusively Personal Care Act


Parliament Passes
Personal Care Act

Sofia, December 6 (BTA) - Parliament Thursday passed conclusively the Personal Care Act, which is part of the new regulatory framework concerning people with disabilities. The passage of the bill, along with the passage on Thursday of a new People with Disabilities Act, came after months-long protests of mothers of disabled children under the motto "The System Kills Us", and of people with disabilities.

The Personal Care Act enters into force on January 1, 2019. The personal care under it will start to be provided as of September 1, 2019. Until then, personal care will be provided according to the current terms. In 2020 the Labour and Social Policy Ministry will have 437 million leva for policies concerning people with disabilities.

Under the new law, personal care will be provided on the basis of an individual needs assessment performed according to a procedure laid down in the People with Disabilities Act. The number of hours a disabled person will be entitled to personal care will be determined based to their degree of disability.

The salary of a personal assistant to a disabled person in 2019 will be equal to the minimum working wage, and will increase in the years. For 2020 the rate of increase will be 1.2.

Speaking in Parliament after the passage of the act, Labour and Social Policy Minister Bisser Petkov said that the law meets the main demand of the protesting mothers of disabled children. In Petkov's words, the passage of the act places Bulgaria among the few European countries having a dedicated law for personal care for people with disabilities. Petkov thanked all people who contributed in the drafting of the new laws for disabled people.

Speaking at a briefing in Parliament, Vera Ivanova, one of the protesting mothers, said that the Personal Care Act is a law for the future of the children. Maya Stoitseva, another participant in the protests, said that the reform of the system has begun and that there is a civil society in Bulgaria. Ivanova said that December 6 is the last day of the tent camp built next to the National Assembly. "The protest will be resumed in January in front of the Health Ministry as there is still work to be done until the reform happens," she said. The mothers of disabled children thanked everyone who supported them.

The mothers offered special thanks to National Ombudsman Maya Manolova who stood by them and aided them, to the mass media which covered their protests and the police who guarded the rallies.

After the briefing, the mothers invited everyone for a cup of tea in the tent camp. The invitation was accepted by National Chairperson Tsveta Karayancheva, Manolova, and MPs. LY/ZH

Source: Sofia