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Business and Institutions Kick Off Dialogue on Employees Health-care

March 15, 2005
Business and Institutions Kick Off Dialogue on Employees Health-care

The ‘Shared Responsibility for Health. The Business Experience' National Conference triggered off a dialogue between companies and institutions on the legal and tax environment in Bulgaria as regards additional health-care for employees.


The event aimed at presenting the positive practices of companies in Bulgaria as regards the health of their employees, the services offered by health-care providers such as pharmaceuticals, private clinics and health insurance funds, and outline the State's vision on the development of this kind of service in Bulgaria.


At the event, hosted by Hilton Sofia, 4 companies gave presentations of their positive health-care practices and traditions. These were TNT Bulgaria, Vidima AD-Sevlievo, Umicore Med and OMV Bulgaria - companies with hundreds of employees and long-time traditions in providing health-care for them.


"The idea to organise this conference came about when we started preparing our Responsible Business Directory, again with UNDP's support. It was then that we realized how much companies in Bulgaria care about their employees' health and safety," said BBLF Chairman Maxim Behar. "The truth however is that whatever private business does, its efforts will be futile without a suitable legal framework. It is our goal with this conference to act as a catalyst of the discussion between the companies and the institutions, and turn into an active form of pressure for solving the problems in this sphere."


"The State needs to be pushed by employees to create better conditions for additional health-care for employees," said Dr. Antonia Parvanova, Member of the Parliamentary Commission on Health Care. "It is the employers who can offer this kind of care to employees in an attractive and interesting way. The State cannot do that. It can only provide the suitable mechanisms, but it is the business that can bring to life the most interesting ideas. Please push us to be your partners!"


Part in the event also took representatives of the health and social policy ministries, the National Health Insurance Fund, the Financial Supervisory Commission, USAID and HR experts.


"The number of companies investing in additional health-care for their employees has been growing," stated Ms. Maria Shishkova, AIMS Human Capital Managing Partner and BBLF Deputy Chair. "This kind of investment is a sort of precautionary step on the part of companies. It has shown that companies that have made strategic investments in their employees' health now register much less days of illness absence on part of employees and much greater profits per year. We now hope that the Institutions will start paying attention to what companies do."


The average revenues percentage allocated by companies in Bulgaria to additional health-care for their employees is 1.5-2%, the representatives of the health-insurance companies remarked. Despite the unfavourable environment provided created by the legislation, a growing number of companies turn to health-insurance funds to provide health benefits for their employees.


The ‘Shared Responsibility for Health. The Business Experience' National Conference took place with the general sponsorship of Roche Bulgaria, AstraZeneca, Zakrila AD and VIN Zdrave, and the support of Actavis, AIG Life, Vidima AD, GlaxoSmithKline, Health Insurance Group DZI, and HIC Nadezhda AD.


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