Bulgaria’s Health Ministry: GPs to be able to issue referrals for PCR tests when Covid-19 suspected

General practitioners in Bulgaria are to have the right to issue referrals for PCR tests of people on their patient lists in suspected cases of Covid-19, the country’s Health Ministry said on October 7.

This will be done in accordance with strict criteria prepared by the Bulgarian Medical Association, the Ministry of Health, the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the National Association of General Practitioners in Bulgaria, the ministry said.

The change will take effect after a forthcoming conclusion of an annex to the National Framework Agreement.

Up to now, only specialists in infectious diseases, pulmonology, paediatrics and ENT diseases have had the right to issue outpatient care referrals for PCR tests for Covid-19.

Further, the number of referrals that may be issued will be increased, the Health Ministry said.

The change was decided on at a meeting between Health Minister Kostadin Angelov and representatives of the Bulgarian Medical Association, the NHIF, Sofia’s regional health inspectorate, Sofia medical institutions and members of the national operational headquarters against Covid-19.

At the meeting, the provision of hospital beds for patients with Covid-19, the current data on the spread of coronavirus infection in the country, as well as the current anti-epidemic measures were also discussed, the statement said.

Bulgaria’s Chief State Health Inspector Angel Kunchev was quoted as saying that at this stage, it was not necessary to toughen up the measures against the spread of new coronavirus.

“We continue to monitor all indicators on a daily, weekly and 14-day basis. At the moment we have no worries about the spread of Covid-19 and the readiness of the health system,” Kunchev was quoted as saying.

The October 7 daily report by the national information system showed that in the past 24 hours, there had been record numbers of newly-confirmed cases, a record high in new cases in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, the largest number yet of medical personnel who had tested positive in a single day, while in the past day the number of active cases had risen by 297 to a total of 6134.

(Photo: Claude Truong-Ngoc/Wikimedia Commons)

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