Bulgaria Faces Severe Shortage of Family Doctors

Society | March 13, 2010, Saturday // 14:48|  views

Bulgarian doctors and nurses look for jobs abroad more and more over the low pay and the deplorable working conditions in the country. Photo by BGNES

In the last seven years not even a single medical graduate has become General Practitioner (GP), the data of the National Association of the Bulgarian GPs (NSOPLB) reveals.

The Associations says Bulgaria faces a severe shortage of family doctors and the health policy of the current cabinet will reduce their number even further. Bulgarian doctors leave the country in large numbers with Germany being the top destination over the offering of 6-mont language courses and a starting salary of EUR 3 500 a month. The medical school graduates also leave abroad right after college while others become sales representatives of large pharmaceutical companies. The main reasons, according to the NSOPLB, are the low pay and the deplorable working conditions.

The Association voices their discontent form the frequent probes on the part of the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK) putting pressure on doctors and seen as a form of harassment.

The problem of the GP shortage will become even worse in the next few years with many doctors going into retirement.

Bulgarian doctors further steer away from specialization over losing time from their practice, having to spend their own money on it, and the failure to find another doctor to substitute for them.

Another problem is the shortage of nurses since, here too, many of them prefer to work abroad while young people do not have any desire to study to become nurses.

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Tags: GPS, nurses, Strike


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