Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Short-staffed hospital in Plovdiv in recruiting drive

The Sveti Mina hospital in Plovdiv is urgently recruiting doctors, nurses and orderlies to work in the Covid-19 treatment ward, the municipality said on its website on July 17, following reports that the 30-bed ward has only one doctor, with another assisting her, and one nurse.

“Good pay for this noble work is guaranteed!” Plovdiv municipality said.

Bulgarian National Television reported that less than two weeks since the opening of the Covid-19 ward at Sveti Mina, there was a severe shortage of medical staff.

Hospital head Professor Petar Petrov told BNT that the ward had opened with a schedule for five doctors, nine nurses and five orderlies. “Unfortunately, most of the Sveti Mina personnel are of retirement age, and started to drain away, submitting the relevant medical documentation, refusals and unmotivated applications to resign,” Petrov said.

The ward was almost full, he said.

“We do not dare to dream of volunteers, we are ready to pay for the work of doctors, nurses, paramedics just to have them,” Petrov said.

The doctor at the ward, Dr Dimitrova, has been on duty since July 7, carrying out the tasks of a doctor, a nurse and doing administrative work, the report said.

In other news on July 17 about the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria:

The Prosecutor’s Office has lodged an application in the Sofia District Court for the head of the Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Union, Asena Stoimenova, to be fined for speaking in interviews in April with Bulgarian National Radio and Bulgarian National Television about a possible shortage of essential drugs to treat Covid-19 cases.

Reports said that on July 14, the District Prosecutor’s Office applied for Stoimenova to be fined under a law against spreading false alarm. The office decided on applying for her to be fined rather than face criminal prosecution because she has no criminal record.

A statement on the website of the Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Union said that a number of organisations had defended the free expression of professional and expert opinion, including the PGEU (Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union), FIP (International Federation of Pharmacists), the Bulgarian Association of Wholesalers in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Association for the Development of Parallel Trade in Medicines, the Association of European Journalists, the board of directors of the Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Union, as well as almost all Regional Pharmaceutical Colleges and other professional and non-governmental organisations.

As of July 20, PCR tests for people intending to travel abroad will be available at Pirogov hospital in Sofia. The hospital will issue a certificate of a negative test in English.

Tests will be conducted between 8am and 10am. The results, including in English, will be available the following day between noon and 1pm from the hospital’s central registry.

Those who want the test done should take with them copies of both sides of their identity documents.

There are no restrictions on the consumption of water and food before the test is done.

Fees vary according to whether a person is tested individually, as part of a family or a group of four. For an individual, the fee is 100 leva, for two people 200 leva, the family package for three people is 270 leva and four people the fee is 350 leva.

Bulgaria’s National Revenue Agency has begun check-ups at private laboratories following reports from people who have paid for tests but have not been given printed receipts, the agency said.

Private laboratory tests have been in considerable demand since Greece introduced a requirement that those crossing to the country via the Kulata-Promachonas border checkpoint – the only land border where this is allowed – must show a properly certified negative PCR test done within 72 hours before the crossing.

The agency has reminded the heads of private laboratories about the legal requirement for issuing receipts and the sanctions for not doing so, it said.


For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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