NHIF TO ADOPT A REGIME OF ECONOMIZING
The National Healthcare Insurance Fund (NHIF) will adopt a regime of economizing, members of its Management Board announced. This is necessary in order to save money for the so-called pay-free and partly paid for medicines. We'll not be paying anymore for expensive medicines, prescribed by the doctors, if there are cheaper medicines for the same ailment. If the patient prefers the more expensive treatment, he should pay for the difference in the price from his own pocket, the Deputy Finance Minister and Chairman of NHIF's Management Board Kiril Ananiev specified at a session of the Parliamentary Healthcare Commission. He explained the necessity for economizing on medicines by NHIF's budget for 2003, which was reduced from the proposed BGN201MN to BGN162.7MN.The introduction of ceiling prices won't solve the problem. The NHIF will be BGN40MN in the red for pay-free medicines as early as June, 2003, Prof. Krustyo Petkov, a deputy from the Coalition for Bulgaria parliamentary group, predicted. The member of NHIF's Management Board and until recently NHIF executive director Prof. Gencho Nachev was adamant that the number of medicines cannot be reduced, because the ill people in Bulgaria who constantly need medicines has increased by 56% in 2002 alone.