Surgery Numbers are Rising

Despite the population decline, the number of medical operations in Bulgaria is growing. However, not all medical centres doing them correspond to the requirements for a minimum volume of activity.

This is shown in the analyses of “Hospital Index” in the three main surgery activities in the country: neurosurgery, cardiac surgery and orthopedics.


As visible from the “Hospital Index” data, neurosurgeries in Bulgaria marked a rise of 1,176 for a year. A total of 14,015 interventions were carried out in 115 medical centers during the last year compared to 12,839 in 116 centers in the previous year. Here are included operations along the six main clinical pathways in this area: those related to head injuries, oncological and related to them diseases, spinal problems and also cranial brain injuries. Apart from the conservative treatment of patients, cases in medical centers reached 28,086 which is an increase of 1,603. Those of them who had to experience retreatment in the previous year were 1,839, or the share of re-hospitalizations was 6.5.

Despite the high number of medical centers with contracted neurosurgery departments, highly technological cranial operations were carried out in only a few of them: 12. They were concentrated in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Pleven and Panagyurishte. Serious spinal operations, 26, were made in a few places as well.

The key part of the activity of the remaining medical centers was focused in the conservative treatment of cranial and cranial brain injuries. Despite the medical standards, the number of operations realized along the different clinical pathways in the hospitals varied between 1 and above 1,000. Details on every medical center can be found in the table HERE.


For an annual period, orthopedic surgeries also marked an increase. From 75,180 in 2017 they reached 76,559 in the previous year. Here are included all lower and upper limb interventions as well as alloplasties.

The biggest lower limb interventions were carried out in 39 while upper limb ones in 34 (КАКВО?). In this area, also, despite the requirements of medical standards, the volume of medical center activity was highly unbalanced. In the separate centers it varied from a single operation along some clinical pathways annually to above 1,000. The number of orthopedic re-hospitalizations during the last year was 9,204 equal to 12 per cent of all cases. Concrete data for each medical center can be found in the table HERE.

Cardiac surgery

An increase is to be noted in the number of cardiac surgeries of adult people in the country as well. From 6,000 in 2017 they reached 6,276 in the last year. There was no change in the medical centers carrying them out as their number remained 10. Over 50 per cent of the interventions, on their turn, were made in three of the hospitals in Sofia and Plovdiv. Here not all medical centers, too, correspond to the requirements of minimum volume of interventions annually. Details can be seen in the table HERE.

The data are from 2018 and reflect the cases of medical treatment funded by the National Health Insurance Fund.


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