Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

THE HOSPITALS CONFLICT GETS WORSE INSTEAD OF IMPROVING

All mayors will have a month - till October 15, to present to the Government their view on how the municipal hospitals' property should be justly distributed and what financial sources have been found. The term was appointed by the parliamentary Health Commission and the decision can be taken as subtle slip from responsibility. As the BANKER weekly has informed not once, in May the Constitutional Court ruled as breach of the law the existence of a state-owned stake of 51% of the capital of all the 26 municipal hospitals which have become joint-stock companies. But after a conflict meeting the MPs decided that a legal act announced to be anti-constitutional sould not be dealt by the Parliament. So the hot problem was tossed to the Government and to the municipalities. The chaos prevailing all the involved sides is such that they doubt even settled matters. According to the ruling of the Constitutional Court, the hospitals should be owned in full by the municipalities and the problem is how the State's 51% stake should be distributed among them. The Ministry of Health Care on its turn offers another option - 100% of the capital of the municipal hospitals to be transferred to the state! However, mayors are equally confident to obtain the hospitals by 100 per cent. And they want the State budget subsidies as well.Nevertheless, all are of the opinion that shares should be redistributed between municipalities and the State according to a complicated legal mechanism. Lawyers, attached to the parliamentary Health Commission, point out that the State can transfer its stake to the other shareholders either by an act of law or by a governmental decision. Mayors insist on amendments to the law, while MPs prefer to keep aside. Mayors do not accept the present state of shares distribution - in proportion to the population of the municipalities and they will surely decline a distribution following the same token. Their view is that if the municipality has given a larger financial subsidy to the hospital, it should have a bigger stake in it. A more radical decision is the present 51%, owned by the State, to be entirely given to the municipal centre and the financing to be secured by the Ministry. Municipal officials also share the opinion that the funds should be directed to the main municipality, and not be shared among all muninipcalities-shareholders.

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