Bulgaria's Emergency Services in Peril: 50% of Positions Vacant

Health | May 27, 2024, Monday // 11:27|  views


A staffing crisis is looming in Bulgaria's emergency care sector, with around 2,000 paramedics currently without employment, according to comments made by Dr. Teodor Tsankov of the Union of Paramedics on Nova TV. Dr. Tsankov highlighted that despite around 2,000 qualified personnel having completed their specialty training, many are unable to find work within the country, leading to a significant emigration of skilled professionals.

The dire situation is exacerbated by the fact that approximately 50% of positions in emergency centers across Bulgaria remain unfilled, with an additional 500 doctors permanently absent from the system. Dr. Tsankov emphasized the challenges paramedics face, noting that while salaries for doctors in emergency care can reach up to BGN 4,000 in larger cities, paramedics typically earn between BGN 1,500 to 2,000.

In Bulgaria, paramedics are legally required to work under the supervision of a doctor, although they cannot practice independently. Major cities like Sofia and Burgas have the highest demand for paramedics within emergency centers. Despite the urgent need for staffing, vacancies in the system remain unfilled, with the responsibility falling on emergency center directors to make appointments.

Dr. Tsankov stressed the necessity for comprehensive reform within the emergency care sector, calling for coordinated efforts between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. He expressed frustration at the lack of progress, noting that there is a lack of regulation in many aspects of emergency medical care. Moreover, there is a notable absence of statistical data regarding the quality of emergency care in Bulgaria.

The Union of Paramedics in Bulgaria is grappling with the challenge of addressing the staffing crisis while advocating for reforms to improve the accessibility and quality of emergency medical services across the country.

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Tags: paramedics, Bulgaria, emergency, Dr. Tsankov


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