Olympic champions, musicians and TV presenters stood behind the cash registers of the McDonald's restaurant on Slaveykov Square in Sofia and thus supported the charity campaign for children with oncohematological diseases. Champions Rumyana Neikova, Maria Grozdeva, Tanya Bogomilova, Armen Nazaryan, Yordanka Blagoeva, Zdravka Yordanova, Vanya Gesheva, Nikolina Shtereva, singers Polly Genova and Nora, actress Marta came and signed autographs at the celebration, which was organized on November 27 for the little patients. Vachkova, Miss Bulgaria Irene Onteva and TV presenters Niki Kanchev, Iskra Angelova, Nana Gladuish. The doctors were represented by Prof. Dobrin Konstantinov and Prof. Valeria Kaleva. A special guest at the event was Her Excellency the US Ambassador to Bulgaria Marcy Rees.
The donation campaign from November 17 to 30 collected money for medical equipment, consumables, repairs and improvement of the Specialized Hospital for the Treatment of Oncohematological Diseases in Sofia and the specialized clinics in Plovdiv and Varna.
Specially for "Doctor", actress and presenter Marta Vachkova comments on the campaign and the responsibility that society bears for the he alth of Bulgarian children.
Mrs. Vachkova, what motivates you to participate in such campaigns?
- Children who fight cancer. They teach us a lesson in heroism. We adults collapse from such little troubles and give up. An insult can break us. And these children struggle with this terrible thing, but the smile does not fall from their faces. I am here mostly as a parent (by the way, at this point the actress is speaking through tears), because I adore and bow down to the mothers of sick children. And if we can somehow show sympathy, empathy for their pain - this is the least we can do today.
Is Bulgarian he althcare doing enough for these children? Why does charity have to be?
- There is charity all over the world. It exists not because states cannot deal with problems. This charity is to make us humans feel better and helpful to those in need. Woe to a country that waits on charity to solve its problems. Charity is something for us, for our souls, to empathize with different problems, to see eye to eye with people who are suffering. These cannot be the decisive steps for the treatment of children with cancer. This is to help. Charity events are for the public to hear about various issues, they
to reach more people
But they cannot solve them. Sometimes, when it is a poor country like ours, charity is crucial. The medical
equipment that is bought from such campaigns is much needed.
Do you think that too many Bulgarians suffer from cancer?
- It is a disease of the century. The scary thing is when little children get sick, when the cancer is unlocked in them so early. In children, too, cancer proceeds wildly fast. Personally, I have friends who lost a 4-year-old child. It went away just a little bit from leukemia. It's a terrible disease. And when I read various writings on the Internet about how easily cancer was treated, I just freak out. This is how they lie to people that we can easily fight this cruel disease.
How do you view alternative medicine cancer healers?
- I am convinced that a person's faith and struggle help a lot in his treatment. If it will help a person to have faith that he will overcome the disease, to turn to any possible medicine. Personally, I trust doctors. My life has met me with magnificent doctors. Yesterday I was in "Tsarica Joanna" - ISUL on another occasion, thank God, not for oncological diseases. And there
there are wonderful doctors, but they work under such miserable conditions that we just have to take our hats off to them. When I hear talk against doctors, I want to die of shame. Because these are heroes.
In my opinion, the main problem of our he alth care is that young doctors do not stay in Bulgaria, that hospitals are empty. I have been in the countryside, in small towns where there are no doctors. Retired doctors are being brought back to work because there are no young ones. Everyone goes abroad. This is where the state should think about how to keep, not by force, but to motivate specialists to stay in Bulgaria. The best young doctors work abroad. And those who happen to not find a job there are attracted by foreign pharmaceutical
companies for money. And medical education is the most expensive in our country. Where is the country!?
When I travel abroad, I meet my doctor friends who go to see in London or elsewhere for the weekend. I know such doctors. They go to make money. What about the reverse he alth tourism of Germans and Russians who come here for summer treatment? I know a great dental clinic in Varna that works with the German He alth Insurance Fund and treats the teeth of Germans here. We have great specialists. The question is what to keep them with.
If the tenders for oncology drugs are returned to the Ministry of He alth, they will again be delayed by 3-4 months!
Thousands of the sick will die
Drugs for cancer patients should not be transferred to the Ministry of He alth again, he alth organizations insist. People are worried about the idea of the Minister of He alth, Dr. Petar Moskov, that medicines for cancer be procured through public procurement, and according to them, this will be a step backwards for native he alth care.
“If tenders for cancer patients are returned, treatment will be delayed and all expensive drugs will be returned. It hurts me that today, when we are talking about a potential threat to the lives of Bulgarian patients, the oncologists' chairs remained empty. I think someone forbade them to come - I hope I'm wrong… I get calls from worried patients with various diseases, including transplanted ones. They fear that they will once again fall into the hell of missing medicines. It's murderous to mess with your own people. They accuse me of using the word "genocide", but this situation is really genocide in a modern version", stated Ivan Dimitrov, chairman of the Federation "Bulgarian Patient Forum".
“If tenders are returned to the Ministry of He alth, medicines will again be delayed for 3-4 months, and thousands of patients will die, as happened before. Then there were also suspicions of corruption - the cheapest medication from one manufacturer was chosen. Because others didn't show up for the auctions…
This is our big concern - 350,000 Bulgarians are sick, some of them are in remission, but they need the right medication. With the transfer of the payment of medicines to the He alth Insurance Fund, oncologists have the opportunity to prescribe the appropriate medicine for a certain patient, and not what is available", Ivan Dimitrov is worried about the possible situation.