We are at a key moment that will determine whether the time, effort and resources invested in the creation of the National Children’s Hospital will lead to the best possible hospital for children in Bulgaria… or to inefficiency, waste of time and pointless spending of public funds.
The National Children’s Hospital is not just a field and a building. It must be designed to meet the needs of those who will use it – the children, their parents, the doctors and other medical professionals who will work in it. This means that it includes all the necessary clinics, providing an opportunity for excellent coordination between them, but also optimization of the used resources; provides an opportunity for parents to be with their children constantly; it includes spaces to allow the continuation of the educational process for children who have a long hospital stay, as well as space for leisure, play and culture.
To ensure this, the following questions, as a minimum, should be answered before starting a hospital design assignment:
- what is the usability of children’s clinics in Sofia and throughout the country? This data is available as part of an analysis carried out by the Ministry of Health in May 2022 and can easily be used.
- what are the health needs of children today and with a forecast for the next 30 years – this will answer the questions for which children the Hospital will work and how it will be created so that it can take care of their health as best as possible.
- what are the needs of the medical specialists in the currently existing children’s clinics in Sofia, which work with a national scope;
- what children and parents need in relation to their own hospital experience
- how accessible the National Children’s Hospital will be;
- what is the optimal option for the relocation of the existing children’s clinics?
This is what we said at the meeting to which the Health Investment Company “Children’s Hospital” invited us as a part of the national civil initiative “For a real children’s hospital”.
We have proposed four steps to ensure that the Children’s Hospital will be established with high quality and in a short time:
- Development of a plan with clear deadlines, in which the needs analysis is among the first tasks. The plan should be made available to all interested parties with a special focus on the pediatric community and civil organizations involved in the process. We firmly believe that sharing a common vision and plan of action will contribute to the unification of efforts in the creation of the Children’s Hospital and will significantly speed up the process.
- Carrying out a complete analysis of the needs – with good organization of the work, this analysis can be carried out for no more than 6 months, and before this time, other preparatory activities for the establishment of the hospital can be carried out in parallel.
- Since “Health Investment Company for a Children’s Hospital” is currently designated as the main coordinator of the activities, an advisory board should be created with the participation of pediatricians, pediatric organizations and civil organizations, which will contribute to the fast and efficient work, as well as to the transparency of the entire process.
- “Health Investment Company for a Children’s Hospital” to propose a mechanism for coordination with the Ministry of Health, which would allow parallel work and sharing of information between the two institutions.
We welcome the efforts of the Health Investment Company for Children’s Hospital to involve stakeholders in the process of establishing a National Children’s Hospital. We believe that this is the only way that the efforts made will lead to the creation of the modern, high-tech hospital for children that we all want to become a reality in a short time.