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Prof. Krasimir Ivanov: "The Reform Cannot Take Place without Investments in Education"

"I am absolutely convinced that whatever strategies we might develop and whatever ways of distributing the money of NHIF and determining the packages we might introduce, without investments in medical education the reform would not take place," said the Rector of the Medical University in Varna Prof. Krasimir Ivanov at the discussion about the urgent healthcare reforms, organized by Club Investor. He explained that the reason for that was the fact that we were faced with a global problem - the lack of medical specialists. According to him, the government ought to consider medical education a priority and start making result-oriented investments in it. Prof. Ivanov emphasized that this concerned investments both at universities and university hospitals. In his view it is not proper the debate on the reforms to be focused only on NHIF and financing.

"We need to introduce new majors, without which the reform strategy in Emergency care is doomed to failure," said Prof. Ivanov. He explained that those issues concerned doctor's assistants and paramedics. According to him, it is not enough just to write down - we create such a specialty. We need to invest in the structures that are going to train these specialists. "At the University we cannot train paramedics because there is no such a structure. Moreover, specific training is required as well. Yes, we do have professors, associate professors and assistant professors who can teach and train doctors, but do we have University lecturers who are capable of training paramedics?" asked Prof. Ivanov.

In response, the Minister of Health Dr. Petar Moskov expressed his agreement. He underlined that the personnel crisis was a serious problem and there was a complete programme for its solution. "The risk of introducing these new majors is that the students might be insufficiently trained," he said. According to him it is disastrous to believe that after only a three-month training course such a person who is trained to be a paramedic could be allowed to work in an ambulance. He was explicit that the training course should last at least three years.

Based on materials of