Just what do Bulgarians get free in thier health service ?

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Tiarnan
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Just what do Bulgarians get free in thier health service ?

Postby Tiarnan » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:43 am

We have a neighbour who has been telling us this week that she has to pay for ALL health care for her 3 year old child.......she is a single parent. The child has not been too well recently....constant colds and coughs. She says she can,t afford to take him to doctors or get prescription. Last night she also told us her Father is very sick.....can,t get out of bed and sleeps all the time. Me, I,m just an old cynic.....she can,t afford the doctor or prescription but can afford mobile phone, house phone, satellite TV, cigarettes....and 2 weeks ago bought two female goats at 120 leva. Her "ill" Father has recently returned from England where he was working for 3 months.....and seems healthy enough to me....he was driving up our street earlier and did,nt seem to ill at all. I think she,s "trying it on" for sympathy and then money....Marymo says I,m getting worse as a cynic.
So, what exactly is available to locals in the Bulgarian health system..?...could a child be left to suffer because of lack of money. ?

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Postby spantrout » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:08 pm

If the parent is not contributing to the BG health system then yes it is possible for her to be left to suffer as i think you put it.

BG health system doesn't entitle you to much, my g/f (BG) had a problem recently and has paid year in year out to Health from her salary. Basically the appointment with her GP only cost her 2.50lv (discounted rate) then the first visit to the specialist was reduced also 60lv down to 20lv, after that the next 2 visits to the specialist were around 60-70lv each and the medicine was on top of that too from a chemist.

Basically BG health seems to entitle you to cheap access to a GP, then a reduced visit to a specialist (but only once a month, extra visits at full price) and that after 3yrs here is the only benefit i can see, dental appointments at the dental hospital give you cheap x-rays but i think the dental work is full price too.

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Postby leedarkwood » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:13 pm

We regulary take sick children to the doctors here, as our jeep functions as the village bus.

The children in our village are usually registered with a doctor in a nearby village, one that is near enough to do house calls here. But the specialists are all in the nearest town. It is normal for us to take a child to the town to be seen, and then have to go back with mother and child to the other village to get paperwork signed off by the GP, in order for them to qualify for free treatment and then back to the town to get the medicine or treatment. In some urgent cases we have chased the doctor around from village to village to get it signed. In every case if the GP agrees with the treatment the child has free health care.

We also take the only unmarried mother in the village to the nearest town to sign on for her state support.

A visit to a gp costs I think 2.40 leva for someone on health care, or 10 leva without, it is 1 leva I think for a pensioner. There are no fixed prescription costs as such, you just have to pay for the medicines at the chemist, and I have collected medicine for people that has added up to quite large amounts of money. I know budgeting for medicine can be a nightmare for people on low incomes if they are prescribed an expensive drug. We have been asked to see if some drugs are less expensive abroad before now, (answer was no). The access to doctors is rationed, you can have one operation a year before having to pay the full cost yourself for example. We paid for someone to have a follow up operation, as they were isolated in a house with steep stairs and couldn't even get to the loo in the yard! The family paid it off by digging a long ditch for us.

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Postby Seedy » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:06 pm

Seven leva to see our GP here in Sofia.

However, don't end up having major surgery as my father-in-law just has - you'll need to arrange to replace any blood given during the op. The usual deal is for family members to donate however many units were used - but there are usually plenty of Roma waiting around the haematology department offering to give blood for you. The going rate depends partly on type but also on where you are: Stara Zagora is 60-100leva per unit, more in Sofia..... :wink:

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Postby jinx57 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:18 pm

before having strangers blood in my veins, guess I would like to know what checking system this blood is subject to for HIV, Hepatitis, TB, narcotics, etc etc

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Postby spantrout » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:27 pm

Seedy wrote
The going rate depends partly on type but also on where you are: Stara Zagora is 60-100leva per unit, more in Sofia.....


I hope you are joking, but unforunately I get the distinct feeling you're not. Ah well it's one way to make money!

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Postby kazz » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:36 pm

In terms of the blood....well that's just Bulgaria getting more like the states every day....but that's a different thread.

I know there's a degree of rationing (as there is world wide...)
When we registered with our GP she explained that she only gets to make a certain number of referrals a month. In effect we were advised that if you must get ill it's better to do so between the 1st and the 10th.

I wonder if, as so often in Bulgaria, there are local variations on national policies.
Our GP appears to work on a first come first served basis for referrals onto specialists. Others might choose to ration individuals...I hope none would ever choose to 'sell' the referrals or hold them for favoured individuals but human nature being what it is most of what could happen probably does. at least sometimes.... :(

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Postby spantrout » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:59 pm

Well i know that if you are pregnant (assuming you are a woman) and want your baby to be cared for it will cost you in the region of 1500lv (but this might be heading back to the corruption thread!!)

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Postby mickw » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:38 pm

I must be doing something right/wrong, only last week I had chest pains and went to the local clinic. Took my Blood Pressure and given ECG. As a precaution I was taken by Ambulance to see a Cardiologist. Same two tests plus a scan, and taken back home. Total cost NIL. We do have BG insurance.

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Postby leedarkwood » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:46 pm

60 for a specialist? That must be including some tests right? The top guys at Tokuda were only 35 leva. We paid 60 to Yan's heart specialist but that included a barrage of tests and took over an hour in her office, the next couple of visits were free. We have been to several other specialists and only paid 20, which seems to be the going rate here. Got excellent treatment too.

I am told that a filling has gone up from 30 which we were paying 3 years ago to 40 now, so some health care costs have gone up since we have been here.

I think the basic health care costs is about 16 leva a month. That is about four packs of cigerettes, so if your neighbour can't afford that she should stop smoking and put her child first! I am still not convince that children don't get free health care regardless of whether the parents have paid in, but I am willing to be informed otherwise.


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