Bulgaria’s Parliament votes to include Ukrainian refugees in health insurance system

Bulgaria’s National Assembly voted on April 13 to approve the second reading of amendments to the Health Insurance Act that enable the inclusion of Ukrainians who have temporary protection status in the country’s health insurance system.

A government decree will determine the specific issues related to the amount of health insurance contributions, the term and procedure for payment, the date from which the obligation for health insurance arises and the rights of the health insured person and the source of funding.

Part of the money will come from unused funds from previous European programmes, which will be redirected.

Funding opportunities must also be sought through EU instruments at the expense of prioritising costs.

Separately, the European Commission said on April 13 that it had mobilised nine million euro from the EU4Health Programme to assist people fleeing Ukraine in urgent need of mental health and trauma support services.

This additional EU funding will allow the International Federation of Red Cross Societies and non-governmental organisations to support healthcare professionals to carry out their work, the Commission said.

It will also provide mental health services in the form of psychological first aid, triage, psychological trauma support and counselling to refugees in their own languages.

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said: “Russia’s brutal aggression in Ukraine has laid bare the horrors and scars of war.

“It has forced millions of innocent people, many of them children and vulnerable, to flee the only homes, lives and livelihoods they have ever known for a path of uncertainty,” Kyriakides said.

“We must offer essential mental and psychological support to all those who need it,” she said.

(Photo: parliament.bg)

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