Number of nurses in Bulgaria dropped by 1730 between 2019 and 2021

The number of nurses in Bulgaria decreased by 1730 between 2019 and 2021, according to an annual report on medical facilities for 2021 and archive figures posted by the National Statistical Institute (NSI).

In 2019, there were 30 546 nurses in Bulgaria, which dropped to 29 160 in 2020 and to 28 816 in 2021, according to NSI figures.

The decrease between 2020 and 2021 was 344, though that decrease did not significantly change the proportion of nurses to 10 000 population. The figure dropped from 42.2 in 2020 to 42.1 in 2021, admittedly against a background of an overall decrease in Bulgaria’s population.

The NSI reports did not give reasons for the decrease.

Before the Covid-19 crisis, there had been a trend for the number of nurses in Bulgaria to decrease, partly because of emigration to places where the occupation is better-paid, as well as reaching retirement age.

Bulgaria reported its first case of Covid-19 in March 2020.

As of June 17 2022, a total of 24 598 medical personnel in Bulgaria have tested positive for Covid-19, a figure that includes those who have died, those who have recovered from the virus and the active cases.

The figure includes 8040 nurses, 6080 doctors, 4612 orderlies, 432 emergency medical personnel and 5434 listed as “other” medical personnel.

The change in the number of physicians in Bulgaria between 2019 and 2021 is less drastic.

There were 29 612 physicians in Bulgaria in 2019, increasing to 29 717 in 2020 and decreasing to 29 604 in 2021 – meaning 113 fewer in 2021 than in 2020, but eight fewer if comparing the 2021 figure to that for 2019.

According to the NSI, in 2020 the proportion of physicians per 10 000 population in Bulgaria was 43, rising to 43.3 in 2021.

The NSI said that the largest group of practicing physicians in Bulgaria was in the 55 to 64 age group, 34.9 per cent.

A total of 18.6 per cent of practicing physicians in Bulgaria were older than 65.

The NSI said that 16.7 per cent were younger than 65, while 10.1 per cent were aged 35 to 44, and 19.7 per cent were between 45 and 54.

(Photo: Clay Banks/

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The Sofia Globe staff

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