Bulgaria’s Supreme Cassation Prosecution accused the state medical audit body, EAMO, of covering up several cases of patients who died in hospital without reporting them to the police.
A recent investigation by the medical audit body showed that it had not reported several cases of patients who died to the police, and claimed this was in order to conceal the cases. According to the prosecution, the cover-up was driven by corruption, not by incompetence.
“It is assumed that there is evidence of over-execution by officials of EAMO aiming to secure benefits for the inspected individuals and legal entities,” the prosecution said in a statement.
News outlet Investor.bg quoted Rumiana Arnaudova, spokeswoman for chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov, as saying that there is evidence of a “classic crime in office containing elements of corruption”.
The prosecution also claims that the regulatory base related to the work of the medical audit authority violates law and must be changed. The investigation has shown that the audit body’s executive director Zlatitsa Petrova has issued those regulations.
The prosecution has launched a pre-trial proceeding for an offence of service committed between January 1 and December 31 last year.
This is not the first time that the prosecution has attacked the health system for alleged corruption. In March, it launched an investigation into seven state-owned hospitals over alleged mismanagement that it said had caused significant financial damages.
All of the probes concerned suspicions an illegal “hospital within the hospital” scheme was launched. Under such schemes, which were revealed last year to be common in Bulgaria, hospital managements have signed illegal contracts with private hospitals to provide almost rent-free space and equipment.
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