Our membership is our compass. We are delighted to feature one of our 65 member organisations every month on our blog. This time, we interviewed Plamen Taushanov of the Bulgarian Association for Patients’ Defence (BAPD), who provides an overview of his organisation in five short answers.
What’s on the top of your agenda?
There are many things that come first on our agenda! But the main item that guides our work right now is our effort towards the creation of a law recognising patients’ rights in Bulgaria. In parallel to this, we advocate for the creation of a compensation fund for patients who become disabled, suffer from infection or even die.
Why does your organisation exist?
BAPD was established in the name of patient’s rights. Our mission is to protect patients’ rights, to advocate for more prevention and for a better treatment of socially significant diseases. As part of our daily work we also offer legal protection for patients and their families.
What is your biggest achievement as an organisation?
In 2002 we submitted a paper calling for a Bulgarian law for the protection of patients that was discussed by the National Assembly. We also contributed to the last two draft laws in favour of patients’ rights and have proposed the creation of a compensation fund for patients.
What is for you the key benefit of your organisation’s involvement in EPF?
EPF gives us visibility, increases our awareness on what is happening across Europe and gives us the opportunity to gain competences. And what can be better than cooperation at international level? I believe that together we can achieve much more as we are stronger and more creative.
What is the biggest misconception about patients with chronic diseases in your country?Misconceptions come both from the national government and from individuals. One of the problems is that patients do not know their rights, do not look for them and do not claim for them, due to the lack of legislation in place to ensure these rights. The second major problem lies in the fact that the need for prevention is underestimated by the government and by the patients themselves.