90% of Bulgarian doctors
are not satisfied with the health reforms

- 90% of doctors are unsatisfied with the health reforms;

- about 5000 employed doctors consider moving abroad (assessment);

- 44% of the doctors would not recommend doctor’s profession to the youth;

(March 15, 2012) The international internet project has published preliminary results of the survey conducted among employed doctors in Bulgaria regarding their satisfaction of the work as a doctor.


When asked “Are you satisfied with the ongoing reforms in the health sector and their reflection to your work as a doctor?” even 87% of the surveyed doctors stated that they are unsatisfied. “Extremely unsatisfied” were 52.8% of the surveyed doctors, additional 27.2% were “unsatisfied”, while 7.8% of the doctors were “partially unsatisfied”. 7.8% of the surveyed were neutral regarding this question. Only 5.0% of the total surveyed doctors were “partially satisfied”, while none of those chose the “extremely satisfied” option.

Dissatisfaction of the reforms is much higher with the doctors employed in the public sector (95%), but also among those that work in the private sector (85%).

Almost half or 47% of all surveyed doctors replied that they consider changing their work place. Of those, even 78.6% consider moving abroad, significantly lower percent (16.5%) stated that they consider moving from public to private sector. About 5% of the surveyed doctors consider even changing their profession.

On the basis of these data, estimates that 4-5000 doctors of total number of 35 000 doctors currently employed in Bulgarian health sector consider moving abroad, and would use the opportunity if such chance arises.

Characteristic profile of the doctor that considers moving abroad is male or female aged 36-45, with completed specialization and working experience of 10-15 years, employed in public hospital, extremely unsatisfied with the low salary, undefined work rules, disrespected by the society.

Most of the doctors’ comments in the survey are that they would stay in Bulgaria if the rules are clearly defined and the policy of the Ministry of Health is clearly defined.

I would stay in Bulgaria with defined working rules and adequate policy of the ministry of Health – stated gynecologist from Sofia, with 15 years working experience.”

When asked “Would you recommend your profession to the younger colleagues?” high 44% stated negatively and chose negative options on the scale. Worryingly high percent of 29% of all surveyed doctors stated that they would not recommend at all to the younger colleagues to become doctors.

This survey offered the doctors the possibility to say what they mostly dislike in their work as a doctor in Bulgaria. Content analysis of the answers defined 5 major clusters of problems that influence on increasing the dissatisfaction of the work among Bulgarian doctors:

  • Low salaries and way of financing by the National Health Insurance Fund;
  • High burden of complicated administrative procedures;
  • Confusing and partial reforms, lack of vision for health system development;
  • Treatment by the society and media;
  • Corruption in the health system.

Each of these problem groups will be separately analyzed in the final report which Healthgrouper would publish at the end of the month.

Washington, D.C. (March 15, 2012) James Rice, chair of the International advisory board at and internationally-recognized authority in healthcare on the results:
Change is never easy, and health reforms in Central and Eastern Europe over the past 5 years stir high emotions among citizens, employers, politicians and health providers. It is not surprising that physicians in Bulgaria are experiencing some anxiety and frustrations as their livelihood and relationships with patients may be complicated by the reforms. The survey findings are likely to stimulate a flurry of discussions and debate about the policy framework of the reforms, the speed of the reforms and the costs of the related changes. These conversations and debates are healthy and will hopefully serve well the public’s interest.

Healthgrouper’s international team expects that the results of the research would help to define the problems and offer options to crystalize health policies in different countries. This would reflect over increased transparency in the health sector. This is the second of the series of surveys that conducts in South-East Europe region. The first survey was conducted in Macedonia.

There were 255 doctors covered by the survey from 55 towns all over Bulgaria from 54 different medical specialties. Detailed Survey Methodology is described in a separate document available on


Healthgrouper is an Internet platform for communication between physicinas and it provides integrated information about health providers in South-East Europe to the patients. Healthgrouper conducts surveys in all countries where the project is active, in order to make comparative analyses for the conditions in the health systems in the region and promote the quality of health care. Final results of the surveys are published online and available on following линк. For more information, please visit