Bulgarian Cabinet approves further 81M leva to fight Covid-19 spread
Bulgaria’s Government has approved an additional 81 million leva, or about 41.4 million euro, for the country’s healthcare system to help fight the rising number of Covid-19 infections in the country. The funding will cover the rest of 2020.
The bulk of the money, about 65 million leva, will go towards hospitals and other medical facilities to diagnose and treat coronavirus patients, the Cabinet said in a statement.
Separately, in a Facebook post, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov gave further details, saying that 50 million leva of that amount would go to hospitals, which would set aside 50 per cent of their bed capacity for treatment of Covid-19 cases.
The remaining 15 million leva would go towards the acquisition of rapid antigen tests, for use in the mobile diagnostics centres set up last week by order of the Health Ministry outside hospitals. These tests would be distributed by regional health inspectorates, Borissov said.
Additionally, the Cabinet approved the allocation of 16 million leva from the National Health Insurance Fund reserves.
Of that money, 10 million leva would be given to general practitioners, which would receive an additional 1000 leva a month to track Covid-19 patients.
“The goal is to motivate general practitioners to track cases, prescribe treatment and provide subsequent oversight of the health of patients,” the Cabinet said.
General practitioners would be required to track the cases daily and would “advise patients during visits or by phone” about treatment. They will also be able to prescribe rapid antigen tests “if certain symptoms are present,” the Cabinet said.
The issue of test prescriptions by general practitioners has been the subject of talks between the doctors union and the ministry for weeks, the main disagreement so far being the number of symptoms present in a patient that would allow such a prescription.
Finally, six million leva would be allocated to diagnostics and consultations centres to set up coronavirus-specific areas, Borissov said. The Cabinet statement said that it expected a total of 10 centres in Sofia and 40 in the rest of the country to do so.
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