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Children’s Health Care – Among Basic Priorities of State Discussed at Round Table in the National Assembly
March 24, 2009

A round table discussion on this topic was held on 24 March 2009 at the National Assembly. The event took place under the patronage of the National Assembly’s Chairman Georgi Pirinski and was co organized by Iva Stankova, MP from “Coalition for Bulgaria” and “Friedrich Ebert” Foundation.

The forum brought together MPs, the Minister of Health , the heads of the National Health Care and Social Insurance Funds, representatives of local governments, hospital managers, health care experts, national consultants and NGO’s concerned.
The round table discussion was opened with the welcoming address sent by Mr. Pirinski. In the address, he states that the forum should give another opportunity to debate the most urgent and in the long run practical measures, needed for a turning point to be made in the health care and health status of children. He also mentions that according to the National Pediatrician’s Association of Bulgaria, in the last twenty years the morbidity of children has doubled and child mortality was twice higher than the average in the European Union. These alarming statistics require the state and local institutions, the non governmental sector and the scientific community to put on their agenda the issue of child health care as a matter of priority, he adds.
He promises to assist in person and seize the National Assembly to consider the recommendations and proposals put forth by the round table.
In her speech Dr. Iva Stankova pointed out that since the year 2000 the NA has adopted a Child Protection Act, a State Agency for Child Protection was created and Bulgaria had signed the UN Convention and the Optional Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and had adopted a National Strategy for Children for 2008-2018.
Yordan Hristoskov, National Insurance Fund Director stressed that expansion of preventive health care would bring down the number of children with permanent disabilities which currently amounts to 20 000.

The Health Ministry’s Commission on Epidemiology and Vaccinations suggested the immunization calendar for children to be updated with two new vaccines, one against pneumococcus and one against haemophilus influenzae.

The participants discussed also the preventive health care in kindergartens, nurseries and institutions for children without parents as well as the current status and the future of the primary care in the country.
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