Bulgarian MPs Back Sacking of Notorious Health Fund Chief

Domestic | February 22, 2012, Wednesday // 12:47|  views

116 Bulgarian MPs voted for accepting the resignation of the country's Health Fund Head over a bonus scandal. File photo

The Members of the Bulgarian Parliament accepted Wednesday the resignation of the discredited Bulgarian National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK) Director, Neli Nesheva.

The decision followed a 2-hour-long debate.

127 MPs voted – of them 116 for, 3 against and 8 abstained.

One day earlier, the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, approved the resignation as well.

The opposition in the Parliament backed Nesheva while the ruling majority praised her professionalism, but reminded the resignation is a must over the wide-spread public opinion.

The MPs must choose a new NZOK head within a month-long deadline.

The "Nesheva" scandal flared after Members of the Parliament from the right-wing Blue Coalition released for the media documents showing that all while NZOK is in shambles, its employees have received in 2011 over BGN 2 M in bonuses, of which BGN 30 000 went to its Head.

Nesheva, who admitted to receiving over BGN 12 000 of bonuses last year and - though claiming the money was well deserved - quit office on Friday under public, opposition, and Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov's pressure.

In the last few days, the Bulgarian Doctors Union, the Bulgarian Industrial Chamber, the Union of Multi-profile Hospitals, the National Association of Private Hospitals and the National Alliance of People with Rare Diseases, and the Parliamentary Committee on Health have declared their backing for her, and insisted that changes in NZOK leadership will unnecessarily shake the system.

They praise the NZOK Director for reinstating regular payments in the system, for the new medication policy which includes the possibility to negotiate discounts and the new methodology of payments to hospitals, which have increased transparency and reduced the lobbyist pressure.

Her supporters say the scandal was stirred on purpose by the pharmaceutical cartels in Bulgaria.

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Tags: donation, donor, homeless, children, cartels, transparency, Parliamentary Committee on Health, Union of Multi-profile Hospitals, Bulgarian Industrial Chamber, Bulgarian Doctors Union, NZOK, medication, GERB, resignation, bonuses, health, Neli Nesheva, National Health Insurance Fund, MPs, opposition


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