Bulgaria's Prime Minister Sees 'No Need' to Update Health Budget

Health | July 10, 2014, Thursday // 11:34|  views

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski. Photo by BGNES

It is not necessary to boost healthcare expenditure for 2014, Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said Wednesday.

Oresharski told the Bulgarian National Television he had looked at "numbers" and found the deficit at the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK) for this year was the same as that for the previous one.

He stressed he was convinced "the fund could tackle this deficit on its own".

His comments came shortly after Health Minister Tanya Andreeva said changes to the NZOK's financial framework could be looked into as early as this week.

Representatives of the fund and also of the Bulgarian Medical Association have long called for a budget overhaul, saying the institution will only be able to allocate money to state hospitals until September.

It is currently running a BGN 330 M (EUR 165 M) deficit, with some reports arguing it could reach BGN 391 M by end-2014.

The Prime Minister, however, added Wednesday it was "very easy" to ask for money but "very difficult to answer" where the funding could come from, as "no other sector" was showing a surplus.

Oresharski nevertheless voiced his intentions to offer to Parliament "options" to raise money and amend gaps within the budget.

President Rosen Plevneliev earlier urged Bulgarian lawmakers to consider an update before dissolving on August 6, when an interim government is due to take over.

The caretaker cabinet will not have budgetary competences under the law, and Plevneliev expressed concerns that the next elected government could meet major fiscal difficulties in October.

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Tags: Plamen Orsharski, healthcare, NZOK, tanya andreeva, Bulgarian Medical Association, budget, Rosen Plevneliev, caretaker government, interim government


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