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Healthcare Committee Chairwoman Dr. Nigyar Dzhafer: The legal framework for care of senior citizens requires consensus

Bulgaria is still lacking the regulatory framework for provision of social   and health services in the homes of senior people. The changes in the current legislation require broad discussion and consensus. The statement was made by the chair of the parliamentary healthcare committee at a round table dedicated to the provision of integrated social and healthcare services for senior citizens in their homes. The forum was held at the National Assembly and was hosted by the Healthcare Committee, together with the Bulgarian Red Cross. The Deputy Health Minister Boyko Penkov and the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy Lazar Lazarov expressed support for amendments to the legislation as to provide senior citizens and people with disabilities with dignified life in their own homes.

The Chairman of BRC Hristo Grigorov called on the politicians to unite their efforts for amending the current legislation and for creating Centers for integrated social and healthcare services similar to the ones existing in Europe.

The participants in the discussion considered a draft text for amendment to the Healthcare Act regulating the mode of operation of such a Center. The services provided in these centers will be directed mainly towards people living alone, such with mental or physical disabilities.

The draft foresees that natural persons, NGOs and municipalities could establish such centers. The proposed legal amendments were coordinated between the institutions, the NGO’s and the patients’ organizations. Dr. Dzhafer stressed in addition that the European Commission is giving priority to the use of the operational programs for creating conditions for dignified life of senior people.

At present 400 old citizens in the region of Vratsa benefit from such services, launched in a pilot project called “Home services for independent and dignified life”, funded by the Bulgarian-Swiss program for cooperation.

H.E. Mrs. Regine Esher, Ambassador of the Confederation of Switzerland, told the participants that the project is successful because it is realized by good partners such as the BRC and the Swiss Red Cross.

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