Bulgarian FinMin: Healthcare Funds Are Intact

Finance | September 2, 2010, Thursday // 15:11|  views

Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, assured Bulgarian MPs that the GERB cabinet is neither spending or wasting the reserve of the National Health Insurance Fund. Photo by BGNES

The cabinet of the center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party had not used health insurance funds to cover other expenditures and does not plan to do it, according to Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov.

Djankov spoke Thursday in plenary hall, answering a question of an opposition Member of the Parliament.

The Minister explained the reserve of the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK) is part of the State fiscal reserve and using it would mean reducing the State reserve and increasing the deficit over the threshold that was already approved, a move that would be unacceptable.

On Wednesday, Bulgaria's opposition Socialist Party (BSP) vowed to ask the Chief Prosecutor to probe how the NZOK budget surplus is used, claiming GERB wasted the funds.

According to data from Bulgaria's Central Bank, BNB, NZOK has BGN 1.2 M in reserve.

Djankov said the NZOK reserve could be used only if the Fund has a planned deficit.

During 2002, the year of its establishment, NZOK had lower expenses than the collected amount from insurance contributions – BGN 781 M, which were deposited in BNB, as the law requires.

The Minister informed that some of the funds were spent in 2005, because during this year the deposits at BNB were BGN 757 M and went down to BGN 654 M by its end, according to a planned deficit.

In 2006, NZOK began financing in full hospital care and the reserve was down to BGN 367 M.

In 2007, NZOK had an unplanned deficit and received State subsidies in the amount of BGN 339 M. In 2008, there was another subsidy – of BGN 206 M. The BNB deposits then amounted to BGN 375 M, Djankov said.

There was no need of subsidies in 2009 and 2010. In 2009, there was a planned surplus of BGN 401 M, and in 2010, there was another surplus of BGN 800 M, both for the NZOK reserve.

"If the reserve now is BGN 1.2 B, it is evident it has not been spent, and everything is going according to plan," the Finance Minister assured the MPs.

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Tags: Simeon Djankov, NZOK, National Health Insurance Fund, budget surplus, Mihail Mikov, BSP, GERB, Prosecutors Office


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