Bulgaria’s Health Minister: Illegal to demand PCR test as condition for admission to hospital

Bulgaria’s Health Minister Kiril Ananiev has told all regional health inspectorates to immediately notify the hospitals in their areas that it is illegal to require a PCR test as a condition for admission to a hospital or consultation with a specialist, the ministry said on June 17.

Ananiev issued the order because many people had told the ministry that medical establishments were requiring them to undergo a paid PCR test before hospitalisation or consultations.

All of these complaints would be investigated and sanctions imposed.

So far, the Medical Supervision Executive Agency has started seven inspections in similar cases, one inspection has ended with a fine and the medical institution has been ordered to reimburse the patient for the fee charged for the PCR test.

Everyone with health insurance has the right to access medical establishments for hospital care paid for by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) when the diagnosis or treatment cannot be achieved on an outpatient basis.

Citizens have the right to choose a medical institution that has concluded a contract with the NHIF for the provision of relevant hospital care throughout the country.

“Admission for diagnosis and treatment (including surgery) in hospital is carried out on the basis of health status and related indications for hospital treatment and should not be prevented by the introduction of other preconditions,” the ministry said.

In addition, during hospitalisation, medical establishments are obliged to strictly observe the measures for prevention and control of the infections related to the medical care.

In addition, the NHIF pays for diagnosing Covid-19 by performing a highly specialized polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for the detection of the illness, the Health Ministry said.

It called on the public to promptly report any cases of refusal by medical institutions for diagnosis or treatment without a PCR test.

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation, please click here.

Section supported by the Embassy of Switzerland

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The Sofia Globe staff

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