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Bulgarian proposals incorporated in the Final Document of the Sixth Annual Conference of Women Speakers of Parliament
July 18, 2010

The Sixth annual Conference in Bern of Women Speakers of Parliament ended with the adoption of a Final Declaration. In the course of two days, women parliamentarians from 22 countries discussed possibilities for improving maternal and child health. The President of the Bulgarian Parliament Tsetska Tsacheva presented a report entitled: "Development of national health systems directed at providing universal healthcare and better access to health services for women and children”. Some of the ideas outlined in the report were included in the final document of the conference. The participants unanimously supported the Declaration’s motto, proposed by Tsetska Tsacheva, namely:” Bern Initiative for Global Parliamentary Action on Maternal and Child health”

The participants in the forum supported the position, expressed by the Speaker of Bulgaria’s Parliament that such an important topic as children and women’s health requires global effort and lasting commitment on the part of every parliamentarian in the world. Tsetska Tsacheva called on the parliaments of each country to engage in a regular and serious monitoring of the ongoing government policies in this field.

The final document of the forum, held in Switzerland, addresses the alarming statistics that every minute one woman dies and 30 others suffer long lasting injuries or illnesses from preventable pregnancy-related illnesses or complications. Most of these deaths can be prevented through implementation of good policies, adoption of relevant legislation and adequate funding to promote and protect the health of women and children, states the introduction of the declaration.

At the meeting in Bern, Tsetska Tsacheva has pointed the access to health services as one of the most important conditions for better children and women’s health and has emphasized that measures taken by states to provide such access included raising living standards and political stability, increasing income, reducing unemployment and other social risks.

She noted that Bulgaria has secured unlimited access to health services for children, citing statistics showing that in 2008 Bulgaria’s National Health Insurance Fund had spent BGN 13,060,000 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, 990,900 for children’s immunizations. She added that as far as pregnant women were concerned, even those who lack insurance have access to monitoring during pregnancy by general practitioners or direct access to specialists. Regardless of their place of residence, social status or ethnicity Bulgarian women , are giving birth at hospitals, assisted by qualified medical personnel.
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