Bulgarian Health Minister Backtracks on Hospitals' Closure

Health | October 26, 2010, Tuesday // 17:17|  views

Bulgaria Health Minister, Stefan Konstantinov, says he does not want to close smaller hospitals, but to optimize hospital care. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's new and latest Health Minister, Stefan Konstantinov, extended Tuesday the deadline for the closure of hospitals that have under the minimum required number of beds.

The change was made after a meeting between Konstantinov's Deputy, Dr. Mihail Mitev, and directors of municipal and private hospitals from across the country.

Just days ago, the Bulgarian Health Ministry issued a decree ordering the closure of small multifunctional municipal and private specialty hospitals across the country.

The decree, which was published in the State Gazette, set a requirement of a minimum of 60 beds for the multifunctional and 30 beds for the specialty hospitals in order to keep them open.

Despite the fact that Konstantinov extended the deadline, the meeting's participants, unaware of the change, headed to the Supreme Administrative Court to file a claim against the short time they have and the hit on smaller clinics.

One of them told reporters that he had invested millions in a building and in medical equipment, but the "Bulgarian Hugo Chavez" decided to put an end to it all.

"When a Prime Minister is more interested in his body and muscles than anything else, Communism simply comes back to Bulgaria," he said.

Minutes after that the Minister announced the deadline's extension.

"Let me make it clear – no hospitals will close. This is a decree showing the right path to follow – the hospitals' optimization," Konstantinov said.

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Tags: Health Ministry, hospitals, closure, multifunctional municipal hospitals, specialty private clinics, health minister, Stefan Konstantinov, Ambulance


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