Medical Healthcare Treatment on Holiday can be a travelers greatest fear due to the language barrier or worrying about the treatment they may receive compared to their home country.
If unfortunately you find yourself to be taken ill when visiting Bulgaria do not be afraid of seeking treatment. Most doctors speak English quite well and despite the look of the hospitals, inside or out, medical healthcare treatment is excellent.
Medical Healthcare Treatment in Bulgaria is inexpensive, medicines are readily available. An appointment with a doctor costs about 30 leva (15 euros.)
For the sake of a small amount of money don’t spoil your holiday visit to Bulgaria.
National Health Insurance Fund
Tourists in Bulgaria can enquire with staff at hotels to gain information about medical healthcare and treatment.
It is the obligation of hotels to provide a list of the addresses of medical healthcare facilities and doctors who contracts with the NHIF.
If you are staying in a resort hotel, be aware that the medical healthcare specialists may not be with the NHIF and their services will be expensive. So check before they send off for the flying doctor.
Your EHIC does not cover private treatment. Make sure you are treated by a healthcare provider that has a contract with the Bulgarian National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
You should be particularly careful if healthcare arrangements are made by a hotel or travel representative. Any costs incurred for private medical healthcare are non-refundable.
European Health Insurance Card
Each country’s health system is different, and might not include all the things you would expect to get free of charge from your own country. This means you may have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care.
Your EHIC will enable you to access state-provided medical healthcare in Bulgaria at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It will cover your treatment until you return to the UK or other European country. It also covers treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, providing the reason for your visit is not to specifically give birth in Bulgaria.
The card is only valid for state provided services and not private hospitals or treatments.
It is also not an alternative to travel insurance as it only covers medically necessary services.
Medical Healthcare Treatment for Non Europeans
Citizens of non European countries who require medical healthcare treatment in Bulgaria must pay for those services in full.
It would be wise to insure against such emergencies as the insurer is responsible to reimburse the costs, whether in it’s entirety or in part, according to the terms of the insurance agreement.
In the case of an emergency, regardless of citizenship, place of residence, or health insurance status, every Bulgarian medical facility is required to offer the necessary diagnosis and treatment.
The Republic of Bulgaria has agreements and contracts for medical insurance.
The right to free access to medical assistance for diplomatic representatives is established by some of those agreements, while others have the right to emergency medical care.
Such agreements are now in place between Bulgaria and Armenia, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Cambodia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia.
Doctors and Medicines
If during your stay in Bulgaria, you have an urgent medical need, a doctor can prescribe you medicines which are not available for over the counter purchases.
Ask if they are covered by the NHIF. If so, you will receive your medicine at a reduced cost as it is for Bulgarian citizens, but you can only do that in a pharmacy that has an agreement with the NHIF. If the drugs are not covered by the NHIF, they may be purchased at any pharmacy, though at the full cost.
There are many pharmacies around the cities and will display the sign in cyrillic.
If an examination or hospitalization is required, a general practitioner will provide that recommendation after consultation. In case of an emergency, such as a car accident, stroke or heart attack, patients will be admitted to a hospital without a recommendation from the general practitioner.
Hospital Treatment Cost
Healthcare facilities are required to display information regarding the price of medical services, the cases in which patients have to pay for the medical treatment; and the manner and terms of payment of the medical care.
Treatment in Bulgaria is inexpensive, medicines are readily available and an appointment with a doctor costs about 20/30leva. (10/15 euro)
Again dental treatment is also excellent and inexpensive, an x-ray will cost about 5 leva 2.5 euros to determine the problem. and a problem root canal will cost approx 150 leva (75 euros), and a bridge per tooth about the same.
If you have a problem just pop in to any dentist of which there are many and get it sorted rather than spoil your vacation.
If you find yourself in a serious, life-threatening emergency, you should call 112. This number is free of charge and valid in all Bulgarian territories.
The 112 operators also speak languages other than Bulgarian.
Other important phone numbers are:
- 150 – ambulance
- 160 – fire/rescue
- 166 – police
- 178 – pharmacy on duty
For travelers from the UK find further information from the government foreign travel advice