More than 500 Bulgarian doctors have left the country to work abroad in 2010, says the Bulgarian Doctors Union.
The secretary general of the Union, Dimitar Lenkov, announced the data, which was established on the basis of certificates issued for good medical practice, required for working abroad.
Mostly anesthesiologists and surgeons left the Balkan country in 2010, followed by urologists, orthopedists, traumatologists, obstetricians-gynecologists and pediatricians.
According to Lenkov, the number of doctors who left Bulgaria in 2009 was 400, while the number in 2008 was 380. He noted that most of the doctors head to Germany, France, England, North Ireland, Denmark and Sweden.
Data from the Society of Anesthesiologists in Bulgaria showed that over the past several years, the number of specialists in the country has dropped from 1,500 to 600. The monthly salary of an anesthesiologist in Bulgaria is about BNG 700-800 (about 350-400 Euros), while in France it is about 6,000 Euros.
He explained that in some regions of Bulgaria, mostly mountainous areas that are difficult to reach, including in northwestern Bulgaria and the Rhodope Mountains, even lack general practitioners.
The data form the Bulgarian Doctors Union showed that the number of nurses in the country is also below the minimum. Right now there are about 30.000 nurses practicing in Bulgaria.
â€œAccording to the world standards of quality of medical service, one doctor should work with two nurses. In Bulgaria, one doctor works with one nurse and some doctors even work without nurses,â€ said Lenkov.
The year 2011 suggests that the number of doctors leaving the country would double. Meaning that, Bulgaria could lose over 1000 doctors by the end of this year. Most of the doctors leaving the country are young doctors. 80% of them just graduated. After they find positions in foreign hospitals, they establish themselves as doctors there and are most likely never to come back.