80 HOSPITALS ALREADY HAVE STARS
A new scheme for grading of hospitals is being worked out. It will be entirely directed towards the quality of health care services and will comply with the medical standards, to be introduced by mid-2002, Deputy Minister of Health Care Assoc. Prof. Petar Tenchev said. Spain's and USA's experience, where the hospitals' accreditation is bound with the health care insurance system, has been used for the new model.A total of 80 medical institutions in the country were graded by the end of 2001 according to available medical equipment, qualified personnel, and conditions for good-quality treatment of patients. The highest grade - 5 stars - for a 5-year period was awarded to the Pirogov Institute for First Aid, the National Cardiology Hospital, the Alexandrovska Hospital, and the Saint Anna University Hospital. Regional hospitals were awarded between 3 and 5 stars. The Specialized Paediatrics Hospital in Sofia got one of the lowest grades - 1 star for a 1-year period. Within the period for which the hospitals are awarded their stars financial and medical audits will be carried out in them, Assoc. Prof. Tenchev explained. Thus, it will be established if their current state is in line with the initially awarded grade. All Bulgarian hospitals should be accredited by mid-2002. This will be one of the main accents in the work of the Ministry of Health Care this year.