GAMBLING OVER NEW HEAD OF THE NHIF IS ON THE RUN
All negotiations for signing of the National Frame Agreement for 2003 between the National Healthcare Insurance Fund (NHIF), the Bulgarian Doctors' Union, and the Bulgarian Union of Dentists will be freezed till new management of the Fund is elected. By then once in ten days experts of the three negotiating sides will hold meetings to specify the agreement's parameters, the branch organisations announced.In the meantime bargaining for new executive director, management board and general meeting of the NHIF began. Three lobbies from the parliamentary group of NMSII are now fighting for their favourites to be nominated.Initially the candidates appeared to be six, but after the healthcare part of the 2003 Budget met strong opposition, their number was reduced to four. The people who fell off were Deputy Healthcare Minister Slavcho Bogoev and Deputy Finance Minister Kiril Ananiev. By the way, in the autumn of 2001 they were said to be among the candidates for temporary head of the Fund.Quite logically, all the three lobbies in the governing majority are formed aroung MPs-doctors. One of them is led by Atanas Shterev, Chairman of the Healthcare Commission, the second one - by Antonia Parvanova, and the third one - by Plamen Kenarov, who is the NMSII's MP with most oftenly expressed personal opinion. Nevertheless, his candidate is said to have best chances to be appointed executive director of the NHIF in 2003. The man of the question is Andrey Markov, presently Executive Director of University Hospital of Cardiology St. Ekaterina. The 42-year old economist has two specializations completed in the USA and Germany. Mr. Markov is also supported by Plamen Panayotov, Head of the Parliamentary Group of NMSII and is a friend of the royal son Dr. Kubrat Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and personally guarateed for his enlisting as member of the Bulgarian Union of Doctors. Insiders comment that Dr. Markov has already expressed inclination to join the competition.The most surprising offer comes from Atanas Shterev who lobbies for Dr. Ivan Bukarev, former deputy healthcare minister in socialist ex-premier Zhan Videnov's cabinet and presently Chairman of the Sofia Regional Healthcare Insurance Fund. Bukarev's main advantage is the fact that he participated as expert in the preparation of several healthcare legal acts, including the one for obligatory and volutary healthcare insurance. The rise of his career was started in 1995 when he headed the Financing Department of the Ministry of Healthcare. In end-1995 he was appointed director of the firm Expomed, and in January 1996 he became deputy minister of healthcare. He was also chairman of the Association of the Voluntary Healthcare Insurance Companies and worked for several months as consultant of the Voluntary Healthcare Insurance Fund Zakrila.For now Antonia Parvanova seems to be in most unfavourable position. One of her candidates - the present Director of the Regional Healthcare Insurance Fund in Vratza Dr. Alexander Semkov, has already refused. In the last ten days the MP has concentrated her attention on Spas Spaskov, Executive Director of Pirogov. I have never worked as administrator and I would hardly change the hospital for an arm-chair in a luxury office, commented Dr. Spaskov for the BANKER weekly. The only name which seems to have the support of almost all NMSII's MPs is Stoyan Denchev who recently resigned as member of the Vazrazhdane Business Club and returned to MG Corporation.