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 Bulgarian Health Ministry Launches Hospital Closure

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PostSubject: Bulgarian Health Ministry Launches Hospital Closure   Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:00 am

[size=55:252u9qh4]novinite 25 October 2010

Bulgarian Health Ministry Launches Hospital Closure

The Bulgarian Health Ministry has issued a decree ordering the closure of small multifunctional municipal and private specialty hospitals across the country.

The decree, which was published in the State Gazette, sets a requirement of a minimum of 60 beds for the multifunctional and 30 beds for the specialty hospitals in order to keep them open.

The requirements enter into effect on November 1 on the grounds the move would lead to hospital optimization and better quality hospital care. It remains unclear which exact hospitals face closure, but the decree would certainly apply to private optometry and obstetrician facilities, which, as a rule, have anywhere between 10 and 15 beds.

Hospitals that are one hour to an hour and a half driving distance between each other will continue to function, according to Health Minister, Stefan Konstantinov, who spoke in a TV interview Sunday evening, saying Bulgaria has too many hospitals and they must be spread evenly across the country.

The Health Ministry budget would include funding to purchase modern ambulances to serve people in remote areas that would no longer have hospitals, Konstantinov promised.

The decree is facing strong opposition from the Association of Hospital Doctors.

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