Bulgarian PM: Copay Better Than Bribes to Doctors

Health | September 30, 2010, Thursday // 08:39|  views

Bulgarian PM Borisov (right) in Parliament with the already former Health Minister Anna-Maria Borisova. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian have been paying bribes to get health care services so the introduction of a legal copay should be discussed seriously, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov believes.

Commenting on Wednesday's resignation of Anna-Maria Borisova, the second Health Minister in his government to resign in the past six months, the PM generally made it clear that her premature statement about the introduction of a 20% copay of health services had necessitated her dismissal.

"I am not sorry for her resignation. Our main rule is that when you lose support and you can't execute the reforms, this is the best solution. There is no point in waiting for many more months as the previous governments did," Borisov told Nova TV Thursday morning.

"Many of the experts are convinced that we must introduce a copay for health services by the patients. Because the fact of the matter is that Bulgarians make illegal payments to doctors all the time such as bribes and treats. But any such measure has to be discussed widely, and decided upon by the Cabinet and the Parliament, and then be announced to the people instead of us all learning it from the website of the Health Ministry," explained the PM with respect to Anna-Maria Borisova's last statement as minister announcing the introduction of a 20% copay.

The PM did defend his former minister by saying she exerted her maximum efforts to put the health system in order but the scope of the problems has turned out to be too great. He said he already had a nominee for health minister but refused to reveal it yet.

"This system which made the Bulgarians the sickest nation in Europe cannot be fixed so easily. We are doing what we can. There are those political parties that totally failed throughout the years, exacerbated the situation, and now have no right to speak," said Borisov apparently referring to the Socialists and the ethnic Turkish party DPS who are preparing to initiate a no-confidence vote of the government because of the problems in the health sector.

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Tags: Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister, health minister, Anna-Maria Borisova, resignation, copay, bribes, health care


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