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Improving child and maternal health requires constant attention, high responsibility and commitment Tsetska Tsacheva has said to the participants in the Sixth Annual Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament
July 16, 2010

“Improving child and maternal health is a task requiring constant attention, high responsibility and commitment”, National Assembly Chair Tsetska Tsacheva stated in her speech before the participants in the Sixth Annual Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament, held on 16 and 17 July 2010 in Bern. The forum, organized by the Swiss parliament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, discusses possibilities for improving maternal and child health.

The President of the Bulgarian Parliament delivered a lecture titled: "Establishment of national health systems directed at providing universal healthcare and better access to services for women and children”. Tsetska Tsacheva has emphasized that the structuring and strengthening of the national health systems and especially their interaction with other socio-economic sectors of life in each country are vital to improving the health of children and women. This goal though, according to her, can only be reached with endeavors at high political level and adequate response at national, regional and global level. In her view, the exchange of best practices and an active international cooperation, as well as building adequate national health systems, is of particular importance.

Among the most important conditions for better children’s and women’s health she pointed the access to health services and emphasized that the measures taken by states to provide such access included raising living standards and political stability, increasing income, reducing unemployment and other social risks.

Tsetska Tsacheva pointed out that Bulgaria has secured unlimited access of children to health services. Statistics show that in 2008 Bulgaria’s National Health Insurance Fund had spent BGN 13,060 millions on programs directed at maternal and child healthcare, which accounted for 10.6 percent of the cost of the outpatient care in the country and spent another BGN 1. 990.9 million for children’s immunizations. She added that as far as pregnant women were concerned, even those uninsured have access to monitoring during pregnancy by general practitioners or direct access to specialists. Regardless of their residence, social status or ethnicity Bulgarian women , are giving birth at hospitals, assisted by qualified medical personnel, noted Tsetska Tsacheva.

She explained that in Bulgaria the problem consisted in the concentration of hospitals and specialists in the major cities, leading to geographical and territorial disparities for the population of remote and inaccessible locations. To overcome the problem the authorities dispatch medical teams on the spot.

At the end Tsetska Tsacheva concluded that as Bulgaria so the other countries must continue to work towards removing the barriers, causing inequlities in the access to health services, especially for mothers and children. She added more efforts were necessary because a number of the indicators, laid out in the Millennium Development Goals, were not yet achieved or the pace was still not adequate.
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