Bulgarian Health Min Mulls Pay Raise for Emergency Staff

Health | March 26, 2012, Monday // 14:55|  views

Desislava Atanasova is the fourth Health Minister in the cabinet of the ruling, center-right party, GERB. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Health Minister, Desislava Atanasova, proposed a new plan to increase wages of emergency room doctors who currently get paid the dismal BGN 500 a month on average.

Upon meeting Monday with representatives of doctors and patients organizations, Atanasova told journalists that she had found two options to do so – divert BGN 11 M, currently slated for the Health Ministry's capital expenses, for salaries, or redirect BGN 7-8 M from the Finance Ministry.

The Health Minister said the later will be subject of an upcoming discussion with Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov. She was firm in her position that emergency rooms and care should not be relocated to municipal hospitals.

The expected wage increase will be in the vicinity of 20% on top of the current monthly salary.

The Monday meeting participants have discussed financing of emergency care, pay and protection of emergency room staff and their career development, and medications prices, among others.

Regarding patients having to pay for the selection of a medical team, Atanasova said she believed it is in violation of the law, but added that one should wait for the upcoming rule of Supreme Administrative Court on the subject. According to her, the selection of a doctor and/or a team and other additional services should be paid by insurance from private funds.

The Health Minister will also propose to the cabinet to establish a Consultative Health Council to work on a long-term strategy and vision for the country's healthcare sector.

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Tags: Desislava Atanasova, health minister, GERB, selection, doctors, medical team, emergency room, emergency rooms, salaries, wages, pay, finance minister, Simeon Djankov

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