The Bulgarian Pediatric Association, “For the Good” Foundation, National Civic Initiative “For a Real Children’s Hospital”, National Network for Children, parents, citizens and doctors insist on the urgent development of a road map for the creation of a national children’s hospital.
We urge the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers to designate national pediatrics as the most important priority of the Ministry of Health and to demand clear deadlines and responsibilities for its creation.
We called a press conference the day before the convening of the 48th National Assembly, after 2 regular and 2 interim governments could not or did not want to start a transparent procedure for the creation of the 40-year-awaited pediatrics. We expect the National Assembly to find the will for a political consensus in support of Bulgarian children and become a guarantor for quick and adequate steps to create a real hospital for children.
It is unacceptable that the project for the national pediatrics is currently nullified. At the same time, allegations appeared in public that the Ministry of Health was considering giving the green light to the construction of a large private children’s hospital. This may postpone for an unknown future or completely frustrate the establishment of a national institution implementing the national policy in the field of child health. Let’s be clear: none of us are against private pediatrics. But it can appear only after the national one is opened.
“A quick and short-term solution should not be sought, a comprehensive policy and the will to act are needed. The basis of the much-desired national children’s hospital should be the complex care for children’s health and the provision of the highest level of medical services in the long term,” said the chairman of BPA Prof. Litvinenko.
If there is no national pediatrics, nothing stops the large private hospital from attracting the main resource of well-trained specialists and financial resources. Nothing obliges it to commit itself to the treatment of severe diseases with prolonged treatment and insufficient funding, instead of focusing exclusively on the treatment of milder diseases with better funded clinical pathways.
And in the current practice, the existing private hospitals redirect financially unprofitable cases to the state departments and to the currently operating SBAL for children’s diseases “Prof. Dr. Ivan Mitev”.
“One of the questions raised by the plan for a private pediatric hospital is whether there will be equal access for those parents who are not wealthy enough. Because even now the most serious cases are treated in state hospitals. The private initiative would help a lot in pre-hospital care and in remote areas with the highest child mortality – Sliven, Silistra, Vidin. There is a need for an even distribution of pediatric care,” said Dr. Blagomir Zdravkov from the “Ivan Mitev” hospital.
“The private initiative cannot cover everyone – both the different ethnic groups, and those with special needs, and the seriously ill” is the opinion of Prof. Anna Kaneva from “National Cardiology Hospital”.
“Children’s healthcare is a foundation of national security. Without taking care of the health of children and future generations, what kind of national security are we talking about? Therefore, the National Assembly must take the political responsibility and make the executive power guarantee the rapid and high-quality construction of the national children’s hospital and a deep reform in children’s health care”, said Nadezhda Rangelova from “For the Good” foundation. “Politicians have neither the right nor the time to neglect the children’s hospital – this is the public agenda,” she stressed.
“We want a clear vision for children’s health care – for its financing, for the development of personnel in pediatrics and for the creation of a national children’s hospital as an element of this vision. We have been asking for these same things for three years now and we are not willing to wait any longer,” added Nadezhda Tsekulova from the NGO “For a Real Children’s Hospital”.
The continued neglect of the national children’s hospital costs the lives of many children in Bulgaria, turns many families into health emigrants or parents relying on the mercy of society, who fight for their children. Child mortality in our country is more than twice the average in Europe, and Bulgaria continues to be the only one in the European Union that does not have a national children’s hospital.
“All political parties declare children’s healthcare a priority. For this to be a reality, however, it is necessary to realize that the national children’s hospital is a matter of consensus in the name of the children. We are ready to provide space and support for reaching this agreement,” said Maria Brestnička from National Network for Children.
After the end of the press conference, the Ministry of Health announced that it stands firmly behind the need for the construction of a state multidisciplinary pediatric hospital and is starting to take concrete actions in this direction.
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