Bulgaria Health Care Still Running on Autopilot

Health | April 14, 2010, Wednesday // 11:53|  views

The GERB nomination for Bulgaria's new Health Minister, Anna-Maria Borisova . Photo by BGNES

The nomination of Prof. Anna-Maria Borisova as new Health Minister was not voted Wednesday by the Bulgarian Members of the Parliament, despite earlier promises of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, the health site DoctorOnline reports.

The co-Chair of the parliamentary group of the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party, Iskra Fidosova informed Tuesday that the Parliament had not yet received the cabinet's nomination for new Health Minister and documentation for the discharge of Bozhidar Nanev, who resigned as such on March 30.

Borisov earlier vowed he would make the reshuffle of the Health Ministry leadership a reality on Wednesday, April 14 - the first workday of the Parliament after their Easter vacation.

The Council of Ministers press center informs the delay was due to Borisova's personal request because she made prior commitments to attend a conference before learning about the nomination. The cabinet further explain, the vote will be scheduled for next week.

GERB MPs say the nomination will not be voted because there are more important matters to decide, adding the Health Ministry team is working and it is not a “big deal” if the Ministry stays without a leader for one week.

The Health Ministry, however, has now several vacant posts, including Nanev's, one for a Deputy Minister, for the head of the Medicine Policy Department, and for Nanev's advisor on medicine policy. The last 3 resigned just two days after the PM named Borisova the new Health Minister and 10 days after the resignation of Bozhidar Nanev from the post.

The new Health Minister-to-be is widely unknown in Bulgaria's medical circles and the Doctors' College in Sofia said on the day of the nomination that they do not know who she is and doubt the nomination will pass in plenary hall. The opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Right and Freedoms (DPS) already declared that they would not support the nomination in the Parliament.

Borisova had attended late Tuesday the meeting of the GERB parliamentary group to present her program and priorities. Upon conclusion of the meeting GERB informed they stand firm behind the nomination, but insiders say off the record Borisova's presentation had not received a positive assessment and failed to impress the participants.

The GERB group co-Chair, Krasimir Velchev, told reporters the nomination would be backed by the party unless she, herself, decides to withdraw.

On Wednesday, the Health Minister-hopeful has to face MPs from the right-wing Blue Coalition, who declared they would not unconditionally support her nomination and must first hear her step-by-step program for a health reform.

Meanwhile, BSP told GERB to be brave and dare to present Borisova before the Parliament while family practitioners, cited by the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, warn babies between 2 and 4 months can be left without the required vaccines if the Health Ministry does not act swiftly to provide the missing quantities.

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Tags: swine flu, Nikolay Kokinov, Bozhidar Nanev, tamiflu, Boyko Borisov, Anna-Maria Borisova, health minister


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