site.btaUPDATED Parliamentary Health Committee Asks Minister to Revoke Dismissal of Pirogov Hospital Director
With 10 votes in favour, three against and four abstentions, the parliamentary Committee on Health instructed Minister of Health Hristo Hinkov to revoke the issued protocol dismissing the director of the Pirogov emergency hospital, Dr Valentin Dimitrov, from his post until all competent authorities have ruled. The Committee believes that the report presented to it contains contradictory information, which is why they demand an external auditor to perform the inspection of Pirogov.
The external audit should provide objective information and clear any potential doubts, Committee Chair Kostadin Angelov told reporters. In response to a question on whether the Minister is obliged to comply with the Committee, Angelov said that this decision lies with the Minister. "As you can see, the Minister does not have the confidence of the MPs on the Health Committee and therefore the majority of MPs," Angelov added.
Angelov alleged that Minister Hinkov is unfamiliar with the Public Procurements Act (PPA) and unaware of how a medical centre with no PPA contract operates, when it needs to use medical supplies and devices for patients with urgent conditions.
Dimitrov told the Committee here on Thursday that "The prosecution service is in Pirogov, but I cannot say why, as they are investigating, but they are not investigating me. They are investigating members of the Minister's staff - his Chef de Cabinet and the head of a directorate".
Hinkov said that external inspection by institutions independent of the Ministry of Health is now needed. The audit report has already been given to the Bulgarian National Audit Office, the Public Financial Inspection Agency, the State Agency for National Security, the Economic Police Department and the prosecution service.
Asked by BTA whether he will comply with the Health Committee's request to cancel the issued protocol dismissing the director of the Pirogov hospital, pending the ruling of all competent authorities, Hinkov said he will have to consult the Council of Ministers' lawyers.
The Committee's decision prompted comments from Vice President Iliana Iotova, who said that Hinkov should resign.