Wondering about health care in Bulgaria? How to access to these and what are the fees applied? Find out in this article.
Once you have settled in Bulgaria, you will probably have queries about the health care system and wonder if you are eligible to health care services. The Bulgarian health care system is supported by the National Health Insurance which is compulsory for everyone, including the private sector. This insurance police can also be reinforced so that you receive a maximum coverage. Note that several agencies focus on health care in Bulgaria.
Health care system
In general, each resident must have a doctor to contact in case of need. In case the disease cannot be treated, the patient is then referred to a specialist as approved by the National Health Insurance. However, visits to the doctor, whether a general surgeon or a specialist, is not charged directly to the patient. In fact, it is considered as a consumption tax. As regards, hospitalization fees, these are settled by the patient at a 2% rate of the minimum wage for a maximum of 10 days per year.
When it comes to specialized private health institutions, such as laboratories and clinics, etc., patients are required to pay the full consultation and services fees, even if they hold the National Health Insurance card. Therefore, you are advised to subscribe to a private health insurance as well.
Residents contributing to the National Health Insurance receive an insurance card upon registration. This card has to be presented to the doctor or dentist at each visit. Moreover, you will be registered for Social Security via the nearest National Revenue Agency to your company if you are employed or to the nearest office to your place of residence if you are not employed.
Furthermore, specific conditions apply to European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland nationals who are not yet employed in Bulgaria. In fact, they are required to register with the health department of the nearest National Revenue Agency branch to their place of residence by producing a copy of their passport and of their resident permit. They also have to deposit a 15 months contribution and provide a supporting form regarding their contribution to their home country's National Health Insurance Fund.
In this case the deposit will be refunded once the form has been approved. A registration number with the National Health Insurance will then be issued.
In case of emergency, you can request for an ambulance by dialing 150. For information on available pharmacies, dial 178.
In case of medical, fire or any other emergency requiring police intervention, you can dial 112 toll free from any Bulgarian land line, public phone booth or mobile phone.
Good to know:
Pharmacies are usually open from Monday to Saturday between 8 am and 8 pm. Each neighborhood has at least one pharmacy on call. This is generally displayed on pharmacy doors.
National Health Insurance www.en.nhif.bg
National Institute of Social Security www.noi.bg
The social security system in Bulgaria www.noi.bg/images/en/eusscoordination
Ministry of Health (in Bulgarian) www.mh.government.bg