Bulgaria’s acting health minister has sacked the management of a major hospital in the capital, Sofia, where he said illegal organ transplants were carried out and massive state funds were misused.
Stoycho Katsarov claimed that over the past two years, hospital surgeons performed at least 14 kidney transplants with organs from living donors.
The minister said that in Bulgaria only transplants are allowed from living donors who are related to the recipients. He added that in the case of the transplant at Sofia Hospital, “there were reasons to believe that the donor and recipient were not relatives.” In addition, the recipients were thought to have given false identities.
Katsarov said the files would be sent to the police.
He listed another case in which surgeons allegedly performed a transplant from a deceased donor. But instead of transplanting the organ to the first patient on the waiting list, it was provided to the fourth in line, who was placed at a higher position in the state administration.
The minister said that an internal investigation at the hospital also revealed that a large sum of money was fraudulently claimed from the Public Health Insurance Fund.
The interim government, appointed after an inconclusive general election in April, has exposed several allegations of alleged corruption involving the previous government of Boyko Borisov.