Bulgaria’s Parliament appointed Glinka Komitov as the new head of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) on March 12, replacing Roumyana Todorova, whose term expired last month but was extended in order for NHIF to continue making payments to hospitals.
Komitov was the only candidate, put forth by the centre-right GERB party of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov. His appointment was backed by 117 MPs from the four parties and coalitions that make up the ruling majority in Parliament, as well as the opposition Bulgarian Democratic Centre, with the opposition socialists voting against and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms abstaining.
NHIF is the independent government agency that manages the collection of mandatory health care insurance and parcels out the funds to the health care system, including state subsidies to hospitals and partial coverage of medicine costs for patients.
Komitov served as deputy director of NHIF in 2002/10 and was head of the Sofia regional department of the fund in 2010/13.
His nomination was backed unanimously by Parliament’s health care committee on March 10. During the committee hearing, Komitov argued that NHIF should be given wider powers of investigating the payments it authorises, so as to ensure that taxpayers’ money is used in the best way possible.
He also said that the fund should improve its work with patient organisations to defend patient rights.
(Bulgarian Parliament. Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)