site.btaUPDATED Health Minister: I Stand by My Decision to Dismiss Pirogov Director
"Everything that I did is in compliance with the laws in this country and my duties as minister and I stand by my decision," said Health Minister Hristo Hinkov at a news briefing at the Council of Ministers on Wednesday in connection with the dismissal of the director of Sofia's Pirogov emergency hospital.
Hinkov said that he briefed Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov about irregularities in Pirogov. "But the decision to dismiss the hospital Director is mine. The order was signed on November 27 by me, but it has not taken effect because it has not been handed," he added.
"In my capacity as Health Minister I am responsible for all companies subjected to the Health Ministry," he said. He noted that when he receives a report which identifies irregularities, as minister he is obliged to take the necessary measures, because otherwise he may be charged with mismanagement.
He said that the audit report has been submitted to the prosecution, the Public Financial Inspection Agency, the National Audit Office and the State Agency for National Security, which took further steps.
Later on Wednesday, Pirogov emergency hospital's staff urged for normal working conditions in a secure and adequate working environment through a declaration by the Medical Council of the hospital, backed by the Council for Medical Care and other workers at the hospital. It has been sent to the Prime Minister, the National Assembly Chair and the Health Minister. The staff invited Hinkov to visit the hospital and meet with the Medical Council, the Council for Healthcare and the workers at the hospital.
Later on Wednesday, the Sofia City Prosecution Office confirmed for BTA that an investigation has been launched on a signal from the Health Ministry in connection with the audit report of Pirogov hospital. The investigation will look for breaches of financial legislation and public procurement. The supervising prosecutor has given permission to the Health Minister to disclose data from the audit report.