Association 'Women without Osteoporosis'
BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT REINSTATES THE TREATMENT OF OSTEOPOROSIS BEFORE FRACTURE FOLLOWING PROTESTS BY THE NON-GOVERNMENTAL SECTOR
According to Regulation 38 of the Ministry of Health, published at the end of last year, the Health-Insurance Fund in Bulgaria would pay the medication for treatment of osteoporosis only after pathologic fracture (code I80). This decision was followed by a sharp reaction on the part of the non-governmental organizations in the country, supported by health specialists and broadly reflected in the media.
The meetings and discussions carried out by the Association “Women without Osteoporosis” with the policy-makers in the Ministry of Health initiated a fruitful dialogue. As a result, the Association provided the data collected from screening examinations of bone density within the framework of its three national projects: “One minute for health – health for all life”, “Early notice to women at 50 about the risk of osteoporosis” (a project which won an IOF grant at at the World Wide Conference of Osteoporosis Patient Societies in Istanbul, 2003) and “Osteoporosis at the working place” (inspired by the IOF report of the same name). These data give information on the still missing statistics for osteoporosis in Bulgaria, enabling to estimate the number of people with reduced bone density but without fractures, which are subject to treatment according to the standards of WHO. The results submitted have been commented in a letter to the Ministry of Health and before the media by Prof.Dr. Lidia Koeva – expert of the Association “Women without Osteoporosis”.
After the campaign was successfully carried out and a useful dialogue established, the government changed the Regulation 38 of the Ministry of Health. Beginning February 1, 2005, osteoporois will again be included in the list of diseases for which the Health-Insurance Fund will pay, in part, for medication to treat osteoporosis even without pathologic fracture (as defined by the international code I 81).
In a letter to the Association “Women without Osteoporosis” signed by Dr. Petko Salchev, Deputy Minister, states: “The Ministry of Health made a change in the Regulation 38/16.11.04 and foresees inclusion of the diagnosis “Osteoporosis without pathologic fractures”. Thank you for the good form and the joint efforts for optimal solution of the patient’s problems”.
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