More than 500 medical workers leave Bulgaria every year. With the start of the Covid crisis and the strain on the healthcare system, the shortage of medical workers reached a critical point. At this point statistical data are staggering – at medical establishments there is a shortage of 470 doctors and 26,000 nurses! In villages the situation is even worse, with only 20% of the openings for doctors being filled. In 10-15 years the shortage of medical workers will reach breaking point, as now one-third of all doctors are over the age of 50.
According to National Statistical Institute data, the number of general practitioners in the entire country is 4,015, but the number of young people applying to study for “medical specialist in healthcare” has more than halved.
From 635 applicants in 2011, in the space of just ten years the number of applicants has shrunk to 286, Prof. Dobromir Dimitrov, Rector of the Medical University in Pleven said in an interview for the BNR’s Horizont channel, and the main reason for this is:
“The low pay, the bad working conditions, the fact that it is a difficult profession as a whole. The young people applying to university, once they find out what awaits them on the labour market, they change their minds and no longer want to apply in these fields.”