Bulgaria Health System Could Perform Much Better, World Bank Says
Bulgaria’s health care system has the potential to considerably boost its performance while cutting out-of-pocket spending, the World Bank has said.
A team of World Bank experts took part in a national conference on Bulgaria’s health care system prospects held in Sofia this week. At the event, the experts presented findings from studies commissioned by the government on Bulgaria‘s health financing system, pharmaceuticals, and emergency care, focusing on the sustainability and financial protection of the health care system.
The World Bank team of experts emphasized that Bulgaria has a modern, well-developed health care system, and the law sets to provide coverage to its entire population, the global lender said in a statement.
Bulgaria’s health system embodies many of the global good practice features found in other advanced and, increasingly, emerging market countries. However, similar to health care systems around the world, Bulgaria faces challenges with respect to the system’s performance in terms of health outcomes, financial protection, equity, efficiency, and sustainability, the World Bank experts said.
With Bulgaria’s health system having strong and sound fundamentals and health care spending at 8% of GDP (a level above average given the income level in the country) the health status of Bulgarians should be higher, the World Bank Country Manager for Bulgaria, Tony Thompson, said at the conference.
On the other hand, the financial protection is poor as 4% of Bulgarians become poor each year because of out-of-pocket payments which are 47% of the total health spending in the country – over double the 20% threshold defined by the World Health Organization, Thompson added.