Healthcare & Medical treatment
Health Care System
The health insurance system in Bulgaria and all relevant social relations were introduced in 1998, as the Bulgarian Parliament adopted the Health Insurance Act. It is the legal basis for changing the Bulgarian healthcare system and for the introduction of both compulsory and voluntary health insurance in the country.
The health insurance in Bulgaria is a system for a social health protection of the people, that guaranties a package of health services and is carried out by the National Health Insurance Fund. The voluntarily health insurance is a supplementary one and is carried out by Joint Stock Companies, registered under the Trade Act and licensed under the Health Insurance Act.
Obligatory Health Insurance
The Health Insurance Act established the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) as a public organization and set forth principles defining the relationship between NHIF and the health care providers. NHIF is responsible for the development, operation and management of the compulsory health insurance scheme in Bulgaria, with the support of its territorial divisions – the 28 Regional Health Insurance Funds.
The contribution to the National Health Insurance Fund shall be paid by the employer on a monthly basis and shall be deducted from the gross remuneration and the financial aids for temporary disability. The employers are obliged on request to submit information for the insurable income on the ground of which the contribution shall be calculated to the National Insurance Institute. The health insurance contribution is not a subject of taxation. Its exact amount in percentage on the ground of the gross remuneration shall be set out in the Law for the Annual Budget of the National Health Insurance Fund.
Pursuant to the National Framework Agreement, signed by the National Health Insurance Institute and the professional organizations of medical doctors and dentists, each person, who has health insurance, is entitled to a promotion and prevention package, in addition to the diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation services. Besides the patient’s rights, the Health Insurance Act stipulates the obligation of the persons, having health insurance, to respond to the invitation of general practitioners to go to this type of examinations.
Other Health Insurance Opportunities
The Health Insurance Law provides a framework for voluntary health insurance, which ensures the provision of health care services and goods beyond the scope of the compulsory health insurance. It is offered according to the principle of voluntary participation by joint stock companies licensed according to the Health Insurance Law. The state supervision over the voluntary health insurance is carried out by the Financial Supervision Commission.
You can dial 150 (for all telephone and mobile operators) in case of emergency for medical assistance for the whole territory of Bulgaria. Your call will be redirected to the nearest Center for Emergency Medical Assistance (CEMA).
In case of fire or incident with victims you can dial directly numbers 166 (Police) or 160 (Fire Protection Service) and provide full details about the situation. The officers will inform directly their colleagues from Center for Emergency Medical Assistance.You’re expected to provide all personal information and details you’re requested to when you’re calling on the emergency telephones.
Medicines can be obtained in licensed pharmacies. Certain medicines can be obtained only with a medical prescription. Normally, the address of the nearest 24-hour open pharmacy is announced on the front door of the pharmacies.