Sofia, Nov 30 (IANS): Bulgaria suffers from a significant shortage of healthcare professionals, according to a report released by the country's Council for Economic Analyses (CEA).
There is a shortage of over 1,000 general practitioners (GPs) in the whole country, relatively equal to about a quarter of the total number of GPs registered in 2021, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.
In terms of psychiatrists, the staffing gap is over 460, equal to over 70 per cent of the total number in 2021.
According to the National Statistical Institute, there are 3,854 GPs and 656 psychiatrists currently active in the country.
As for nurses, the CEA report said that their current number is around 16,900, equal to approximately 60 per cent of their total number in 2021.
In 1990, the country had 53,800 registered and active nurses, which dropped to 28,800 in 2021.
Overcoming the shortages is a huge challenge for the government.
Prioritising the training of medical professionals, especially nurses, keeping them in Bulgaria, attracting back Bulgarian professionals working abroad, and significantly improving working conditions and career development opportunities are some of the measures the report proposed to address the issue.