Bulgaria's Healthcare System Absorbs BGN 120 M in Bribes a year

Health | August 14, 2013, Wednesday // 12:31|  views

In 2012, there were 393 doctors per 100 000 people in Bulgaria, compared to the EU average of 333. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's healthcare system is oversaturated with medical specialists and hospitals, yet it is inefficient and corrupt, according to a project for a national health strategy for the period 2014-2020.

According to the report published on the website of the Health Ministry, bribes amount to around 3.6% of the total public expenses on healthcare and pose a great challenge to politicians.

According to Sega daily, a total of BGN 3.353 B have been earmarked for the sector in 2013, meaning that, following calculations of the Health Ministry, around BGN 120.7 M are circulating in the system in the form of donations and fees for certain services.

The Health Ministry cites surveys indicating that bribes are increasing as a result of the problems plaguing the healthcare system and the deterioration in the health status of the population.

The report does not provide details about the surveys or how the share of bribes has been calculated.

According to the document, Bulgaria's healthcare system has substantially more resources than average European standards.

The number of hospitals, for instance, is twice the EU average, 2.67 per 100 000 people, while hospital beds are 663 per 100 000 people.

In 2012, there were 393 doctors per 100 000 people, compared to the EU average of 333.

By end-2012, a total of 339 hospitals, dispensaries, oncology centers and mental health centers, functioned in Bulgaria, with a total of 35 785 beds. Of them, private clinics were 92, with a total of 6915 beds.

However, the report informs that regional disproportions cause inequalities in access to medical assistance.

The supply of doctors by regions varies from 25.6 to 50.2 per 10 000 people and is highest in the districts with functioning medical universities and university hospitals.

Over the next 10 years, the situation is expected to change significantly as a result of the growing scarcity of medical experts, the Health Ministry warns.

The deficit of specialists in certain spheres has the potential to destabilize the whole healthcare system and to increase the outflow of medics.

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Tags: healthcare, Health Ministry, hospitals, medical care


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