Healthcare provisions in Bulgaria depend very much on whether you are living in an urban or rural area. Those living in the city benefit from modern, clean and well-equipped hospitals and have a plentiful supply of highly-skilled doctors and nurses. Bulgaria spends around 4.2% of GDP on its health service and produces 1.8 doctors per 1,000 residents, a ratio which is better than in many other European countries.
However, the picture in rural areas is very different and a trip to the hospital may involve a long journey. Upon arrival, the dated and under-staffed facilities are far more reminiscent of a Soviet bloc hospital than a modern European clinic.
The private healthcare industry is in stark contrast, is competitively priced while offering excellent treatment in comfortable surroundings. The Bulgarian private healthcare sector is so attractive that it often attracts visitors from overseas. They travel simply to have access to top quality treatment at a low cost.
State healthcare is provided by contributions equal to approximately 8% of salary. However, the cost of private health insurance is so low that many expats opt to take out their own cover.