Lozenets Hospital to Become Commercial Entity under Health Ministry

February 1 (BTA) - Parliament Friday passed conclusively
amendments to the Medical Treatment Facilities Act under which
the Lozenets Hospital in Sofia, which works under the authority
of the Council of Ministers and until the late 1980s was for
exclusive use by the members of the political elite, will be
transferred under the Health Ministry. The hospital will also be
 transformed into a commercial entity.

Media reports about the amendments allowing the transfer say
that the future of the hospital remains unclear as it has
accumulated debts to the tune of tens of millions leva and the
state subsidy to it has been withdrawn.

During the debate on the amendments, MPs of the ruling GERB
party argued that after the transfer, better management
solutions will be found for running the hospital effectively.
MPs of the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party argued that the
transfer dooms the hospital to bankruptcy.

The transformation is to be completed within six months, and in
the meantime it should become clear whether the Sofia University
 is willing take over the hospital's running as it is used for
training the University's medical students. The idea for this
made Sofia University Atanas Gerdjikov voice  concerns and
reservations that the amendments were passed without
consultation with the university's management. If the Sofia
University does not want to run the hospital, it will remain
under the umbrella of the Health Ministry.

As an accredited institution with the Medicine Department of the
 Sofia University, after the transfer, the hospital will
continue to carry out training of medical students and doctors
doing residencies

During the debates BSP MP Georgi Yordanov said that the hospital
 cannot survive as a commercial entity as it has only 140 beds,
huge staff, zero turnover and thus cannot ensure its upkeep. In
Yordanov's opinion, the right option will be to close the
hospital. He said however, that several months after such a
decision, someone will appear to sell off the hospital's
properties and build a shopping centre or a residential estate
in their place.

GERB MP Daniela Daritkova said that whoever manages the hospital
 will not be able to dispose of its property without a sanction
by the Health Minister and the government.

United Patriots MP Georgi Kolev said that the hospital has
excellent facilities and equipment, is accredited to perform
transplantations, so that not to use it will be a big mistake.

Source: Sofia