Bulgaria Health Fund Head Denies Alleged Siphoning

Health | October 1, 2010, Friday // 10:53|  views

Neli Nesheva, head of the state Health Insurance Fund. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

The head of the state Health Insurance Fund has firmly denied allegations that a total of BGN 319 M went missing from its coffers in 2009.

"The fund budget for 2009 will be officially presented in parliament soon, when all questions will be given answers. This money has not disappeared, it has just been moved to another entry," Neli Nesheva told the morning broadcast of the Bulgarian state TV channel on Friday.

A day earlier the Bulgarian Doctors' Union called on prosecutors to launch a probe into the accounts of the state Health Insurance Fund, claiming BGN 319 M went missing from them in 2009.

All employed and self-employed Bulgarians are obliged to make monthly contributions of 8% of their income for health care services, which flow into the budget of the Health Insurance Fund.

The move came after the center-right ruling party GERB checked the attempts of the opposition to set up a parliamentary commission to look into the Health Fund coffers.

The government has come under tremendous criticism for foot-dragging in health care reforms as the National Health Insurance Fund has had to receive additional subsidies from the state budget, and the government has discussed shutting down dozens of hospitals in small towns around the country.

In mid September, the Doctors' Union declared they will stage a national protest on October 15, 2010, demanding the resignations of the Health Minister and the Finance Minister over the troubles in the health sector.

Health Minister Anna-Maria Borisova gave in to calls for her resignation and quit on Wednesday in the face of the public anger.

Meanwhile the opposition socialists tabled a no confidence motion against the government because of its public health policy.

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Tags: Anna-Maria Borisova, health minister, resignation, Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister, Bulgarian Doctors' Union, Health Insurance Fund, Neli Nesheva


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