NZOK Refuses to Sign Framework Contract, Doctors Demand ResignationHealth | December 23, 2014, Tuesday // 20:26| views
Chairperson of the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK) Rumyana Todorova. Photo: BGNES/EPA
The chairperson of the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK) Rumyana Todorova announced on Tuesday that no National Framework Contract will be signed for 2015.
At the extraordinary meeting of the supervisory council of NZOK on Tuesday, its members were divided – with four of them voting against, while three were in favour, electronic daily Dnevnik reports.
According to Todorova, the increases of the volumes and the prices in the contract, which were demanded by the doctors, will cause a deficit of BGN 12 M to the aid provided outside hospitals.
On this issue the members of the supervisory board have unanimity that they do not approve the requested values.
According to the ultimatum issued by the Bulgarian Doctors' Union, the doctors are ready to sign the contract only under these conditions.
The Doctors' Union demanded the increase of the prices of some clinical pathways, for example the increase with 10 % of all pathways on infectious diseases, as well as pathways for the treatment of children diabetes.
According to the union, the total increase of the prices of all pathways would cost around BGN 6 M, which would not reflect on the budget.
The refusal to sign a National Framework Contract for 2015 means that the last contract, which was signed in 2014, will remain in force with the agreed values of the medical services pertaining to it.
The inability to sign a contract has happened in previous years, as NZOK and the doctors have similarly failed to reach an agreement.
Meanwhile, the Doctors' Union demanded the immediate resignation of all members of the supervisory board of NZOK and will file a lawsuit against it.
The chairman of the union Tsvetan Raychinov said this on Tuesday for Darik radio.
Raychinov explained that the reason was the refusal of NZOK to sign the National Framework Contract.
The doctors treat this refusal as an act which blocks all opportunities for reform in the system.
Raychinov defined the decision of NZOK as inadequate, criticising the inability of its members to convene in full during the negotiations.
According to the law, in case of refusal to sign the contract, NZOK is granted the unilateral right to define the rules as well as the prices and the volumes.
Raychinov said that this would lead to the elimination of the doctors' union and other medical associations.
According to him it was impossible to carry out a reform without the inclusion of the people responsible for its implementation.