Meeting of the NHIF management with representatives of companies that support the provisioning of hemodialysis services in Bulgaria



On June 20 this year Governor of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) - Dr. R. Todorova, and the deputy of the institution - Dr. Dincho Genev, met with representatives of Bulgarian and foreign companies and companies that provide Haemodialysis in Bulgaria. Among those present were Dr. Karel van Bilderbeek (Dutchmed - Netherlands), Dr. Horst Shtyuel (B.Braun Medical - Germany), representatives of "Fresenius Medical Care Bulgaria" and the firm First and Dialysis Services Bulgaria.

They discussed the problems that interfere with the normal operation of the business in this sector.

The first focus of the meeting was the quality of dialysis in the country. Unsufficient hemodialysis means more dialyses per patient, further treatment for complications, significant reduction of the quality and length of life of patients with renal failure, emphasized the participants in the meeting. Poor facilities, faulty equipment, poorly selected control medications and inaccurate laboratory tests are among the reasons people who need dialysis to prefer private centers, where they can receive quality medical care compared to dialysis centers in public hospitals. The first step will be an analysis of dialysis patients treated in public or private centers, said the manager of the NHIF. The analysis will give a real idea of where they prefer to conduct their dialysis procedures and will lead to a more equitable redistribution of funds provided for the purpose.

NHIF must seek best quality service at the best price said business representatives participated in the meeting. NHIF must sign contracts with these dialysis centers that meet quality criteria is the opinion of management. The current legal framework does not provide the NHIF an effective mechanism to control the quality of the service for the insured.

Legislative changes giving equal handling to private dialysis centers with those who work in public hospitals, and improved medical standards for dialysis were the proposals which the participants in the meeting agreed on. The current guidelines rely on primarily quantitative rather than qualitative criteria. It is necessary the NHIF to be allowed to pay for quality services only and to guarantee the good outcome of treatment. The participants in the meeting underlined that they stand behind any initiative of the NHIF a control mechanism to be found with clear criteria by which it can monitor the quality of services purchased.

Funds provided for hemodialysis are sufficient emphasized representatives of foreign business, but there is no effective organization and control in treatment. The money received for hemodialysis procedures should only be used for this activity, and not distributed by hospital directors for other purposes.

In response, the Governor of NHIF stressed: "I support all initiatives related to quality and I join the opinion of the need for greater discipline in this area because this is what we lack."

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