Moot Points of Health Strategy Almost Sorted Out, Health Minister Says

The moot points of the National Health Strategy have been almost fully sorted out, according to Health Minister Radoslav Gaidarski. The remaining sticking points are the payment for medical services and the break up of the monopoly of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), which Gaidarski said could be solved by political decisions.

The health minister said the strategy would be presented to the Council of Ministers by the end of September, and then to the National Assembly. At this stage the NHIF monopoly cannot be eliminated, but the voluntary health insurance funds must find their proper place.

If the health insurance contribution is raised from 6 per cent to 8 per cent, the difference can go to those funds, Gaidarski said. Another option is for the voluntary funds to get an allocation from GDP, provided they do not generate a profit.

Gaidarski will ask again that health care spending in 2008 increase by 400 or 500 million leva to 5 per cent of GDP. Floods and fires soaked up a sizable portion of the Health Ministry's budget this year, he said.

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