site.btaHealth Minister Ready to Resign If Report Falsely Accuses Pirogov Hospital's Director
If there are violations of the law, there must be consequences, Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov told journalists on the dismissal of the Pirogov Director. The comment was made during an inspection of the interconnector with Serbia.
Denkov added that these were the main arguments of Health Minister Hristo Hinkov - that there was a violation of the Public Procurement Act.
"If it turns out that the Director acted illegally, then the Minister has done his job," Denkov explained. The Prime Minister declined to commit to a timeframe for when the Public Financial Inspection Agency and the Public Prosecution Office would complete their probe into the case. Denkov also said that the approach should not be selective, which is why he has released a letter to Hinkov to inspect all major hospitals.
“If it is found that the data in the report on Pirogov were fabricated by the experts who wrote it, I will resign,” Hinkov told the Bulgarian National Television.
Pirogov emergency hospital Director Valentin Dimitrov was dismissed on December 5 after the Health Minister said that an audit carried out at the hospital in the period June 2022 - July 2023 showed financial irregularities, and that Pirogov was in a poor financial state. On Thursday, Dimitrov told journalists that this year the hospital was making profit.
Also on Thursday, the parliamentary Health Committee decided to instruct the Health Minister to cancel the protocol issued dismissing the Dimitrov from his post until all competent authorities have ruled on the case. Asked by BTA whether he would comply with the opinion of the Health Committee, Hinkov said he would have to consult the Council of Ministers' lawyers.
"It has long been known that Pirogov's financial situation is not good," he noted. "The bottom line is that there are violations of the Public Procurement Act by a specific person - the Pirogov Director, Hinkov added. The Minister underlined that having received this report, it was his duty to issue the dismissal, because otherwise he could be accused of inaction and of insolvency. "There have been many changes in Pirogov over the years, many directors have been changed, this is a normal process and suddenly there is such a political reaction, which is inexplicable to me," the Health Minister stated.