Working Group in BSP Mulls Idea to Increase Health Insurance by 2%

Working Group in BSP Mulls Idea to Increase Health Insurance by 2%

Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin who heads a working group on health care reform in the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP, of the ruling coalition) said Wednesday that ways are being sought to make available the necessary resources for increasing the health insurance contribution by 2 per cent (from 6 to 8 per cent) without increasing the overall social security burden, BTA reported.

On Wednesday the BSP Supreme Council, the Coalition for Bulgaria Parliamentary Group, ministers and deputy ministers held a joint meeting to discuss the health reform, the reform in the Interior Ministry and the priorities of the new parliamentary session.

Commenting the health insurance contribution, newly appointed Health Minister Evgenii Zhelev said that an internal redistribution in the social security system will make it possible to increase the size of the contribution without creating any additional burdens to the people or employers. Zhelev also dwelled on the privatization of medical establishments.

The Health Minister said also that before private health insurance funds become operable, they need to adopt the electronic control system of the National Health Insurance Fund, noting that such a system will be a fact in October or November. Also, the electronic health files of all insured Bulgarian nationals need to be operable. Zhelev said that the Health Ministry can open the bidding and competitions for building the system within a couple of months while the implementation of the system will need 18 to 24 months.

Zhelev said that by September the Health Ministry will have an inspectorate to monitor irregularities and corruption. By July the pay of all hospital managers will start to depend on the financial results of the medical establishment.

Zhelev went on to say that BSP will insist on an increase of the share of the funds, allocated for healthcare, in GDP. Now this share equals 4.2 per cent while the Socialists will insist on its increase up to 5 per cent taking into account, however, the country's financial condition and the financial stability of the system, Zhelev observed.

Children's health insurance contribution should be 6 per cent rather than 3 per cent, the Health Minister also said emerging from a meeting with Bulgarian Medical Association President Andrei Kehayov. This could be effected by re-distribution of the targeted expenditures, Zhelev said, adding that he was expressing his personal opinion.

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