How to access medical care in Bulgaria

Médecins du Monde’s (MdM) health project ended in Vrazhdebna, Ovcha Kupel and Voenna Rampa reception centers at the end of June. For now, there are no plans for MdM to continue providing medical assistance in these centers, and elsewhere in Bulgaria. Below we’ve provided information on how you can continue to access medical care as an asylum-seeker in the country.

How can I get medical assistance now?

From the moment you register as an asylum-seeker in Bulgaria, the State Agency for Refugees (SAR) covers your health insurance. This means you have the same rights as Bulgarian citizens with health insurance to use all state medical services. SAR will stop paying for your health insurance when you get a decision on your asylum case.

What rights does this health insurance give me?

It gives you access to:

  • Accessible and quality health care
  • Information about your health and methods of treatment
  • Primary outpatient medical care
  • Specialized outpatient medical care
  • Medical-diagnostic research
  • Highly specialized medical services
  • Dental care
  • Hospital care
  • Medicines for home treatment
  • A doctor of your choice

There are some types of specialized medical care such as surgeries, some medicines, laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures that are not covered by the National Health Insurance Fund. You will need to pay for them as Bulgarian citizens do. Check with your healthcare provider on whether your specialized treatment is covered.

What if I need to see a specialist?

Your doctor can refer you to a specialist in case you have a specific medical condition that requires further examination. When you receive this referral, you will only need to pay a user’s fee at the specialist’s office, and not the entire price of the treatment.

Can someone help me find a doctor?

Yes, you can ask the SAR officers in your center for help and more information. There are also some organizations that can help you find a doctor, fill in forms and register, including:

Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria
Caritas Sofia
Bulgarian Red Cross

In some exceptional cases, the International Organization for Migration at your reception center might be able to help you too.

Cover photo © Shyamatha Asokan