Stanishev’s protection of the protégé Raynov unveils the path of money and feelings

The statements of Chairman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party Stanishev as of 20 April reveal a deep emotional involvement and are a futile attempt at deluding the society. All statements made by Stanishev in defence of his protégé Raynov contradict the truth and the actual facts.

1) There was pressure and extortion for NHIF funding of illegal hospitals, says Stanishev.

It is a fact that specialized cardiac hospitals in Yambol and Veliko Tarnovo have licences to perform medical treatment, registered under No. СБ-352/20.11.2008 and No. СБ-349/28.10.2008, respectively. It was against the law that the NHIF under Mr. Raynov’s leadership refused to contract the licensed hospitals, and therefore we referred the matter to the Prosecution (Ref. No 17774/16.12.2008). It was not until April 2009 that the two medical facilities were contracted by the NHIF, half a year after they had obtained the medical activity license. In the following six months these two modern hospitals saved the lives of over 1,000 patients with acute myocardial infarction.

The third specialized cardiac hospital in Varna was awarded a license to provide healthcare by the Ministry of Health No СБ-353/27.01.2009 and eight months later in September 2009 successfully signed a contract with the NHIF and has been working for the patients absolutely free of charge henceforth.

2) The introduction of new criteria in the list of drugs for NHIF reimbursement has lowered drug prices by 30% and saved money from the budget. It has been a laborious reform with serious opposition offered by the pharmaceutical business, Stanishev says.

Published NHIF reports and data reveal the truth. It is true that in 2008 the NHIF budget absorbed BGN 295 mln for drugs, in 2009 they fixed a drug budget of BGN 330 mln and BGN 400 mln were absorbed. Therefore, the drug and reimbursement reform of Stanishev’s government, guided and applied by Raynov, led to an increase in drug costs by BGN 105 mln, which is 35% for just one year. Now Stanishev is lying. Why is that?

3) There is a connection between the drug wholesaler Commercial League, the recent inauguration of a facility of the company, which was attended by PM Boyko Borisov and the abrupt charges pressed against Emil Raynov against the background of dramatic changes in healthcare and the future election of a new minister of health, says Stanishev.

The fact that the signals in Bulgaria and Europe about Raynov’s corruption practices date back to December 2008 and February 2009, when Stanishev himself was PM and would in no way have a “clairvoyant” connection to current PM Boyko Borisov – sixteen months later.

Stanishev even admits he was aware of the signals and dismissed Dr Raynov from his ministerial post, which is not true. Raynov was deputy minister until the end of the Stanishev government’s term of office and he was NHIF chairman even after parliamentary elections in July 2009. The fact that the investigation was finalized only in the past months and the charges pressed against Raynov in April 2010, is a clear sign of deliberate delay and concealment under previous government.

4) The suggestions promoted by Mr. Stanishev of leading corporate interests of Commercial League and “a conflict” with Raynov, during pending criminal proceedings, are ill-concealed attempts to influence the investigation and the finding of the objective truth. Bulgaria and Europe are sick of corruption and incompetence in the management of the state, particularly of interference in jurisdiction. Mr. Stanishev underestimates the investigation and obviously does not take into account that for Commercial League, a big and impeccable tax payer, it is normal to have corporate interests as well, fulfilled in compliance with the law, but it is inadmissible for state officials to have and work primarily for their own embezzlement interests.

5) The word abuse and the failed healthcare policy of Mr. Stanishev and his clique forced the Executive Director of Commercial League, Associate Professor Toni Vekov, to participate in the competition for a new NHIF director in May 2009 and he beat all competitors, but the acting director from the then ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party was reappointed. It was not long before she gave up. Now, the director Mrs. Zh. Bumbarova-Nacheva is dismissed. The war of Commercial League on corruption and for improved access of patients to high-quality healthcare has no other goals. It should not and may not be related to the candidacy of Associate Professor Vekov in 2009, which was an outright rebellion of experts against the negligent regiment of Mr. Stanishev. Commercial League has no political ends and recruitment ambitions, and has not served political intrigue neither in the past 20 years, nor today.

6) Most unmasking, however, is the dramatic reaction of Mr. Stanishev of 20 April 2010, who personally to this day has not taken any stance on the allegations against other ministers of his office! Many questions regarding the existence of personal, emotional and other connectedness with the defendant, Mr. Raynov, wait to be answered to the Bulgarian voters and leave a stain on the history of transition – the time of national devastation.

Commercial League and the hospitals in Yambol, Veliko Tarnovo and Varna will continue to treat the Bulgarian people and to unmask the attempts of Mr. Stanishev to revitalize its present of an opposition leader, by trying to politicize criminal acts and to spread statements with untrue content.

Press Office of Commercial League National Pharma Centre

21 April 2010