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Volume 20, Number 5, 2015

Pattern of radiotherapy care in Bulgaria

Tatiana Hadjieva


The paper reveals the changing pattern of Bulgarian Radiotherapy (RT) care after the successful implementation of 15 projects for 100 million euro under the European Regional Development Fund in Operational Programme for Regional Development 2007–2013.

The project enables a total one-step modernization of 14 Bulgarian RT Centres and creation of a new one. At the end of the Programme (mid 2015), 16 new Linacs and 2 modern cobalt machines will be available together with 11 virtual CT simulators, 5 CT simulators, 1 MRI and 1 PET CT for RT planning and all dosimetry facilities needed. Such a modernization has moved Bulgarian RT forward, with 2.7 MV units per one million of population (MV/mln.inh) in comparison with 0.9 MV/mln.inh in 2012. Guild of Bulgarian Radiotherapists includes 70 doctors, 46 physicists and 10 engineers, together with 118 RTTs and 114 nurses and they all have treated 16,447 patients in 2013. Major problems are inadequate reimbursement from the monopolistic Health Insurance Fund (900 euro for 3D conformal RT and 1500 euro for IMRT); fragmentation of RT care with 1–2 MV units per Centre; no payment for patient travel expenses; need for quick and profound education of 26% of doctors and 46% of physicists without RT license, along with continuous education for all others; and resource for 5000–9000 more patients to be treated yearly by RT in order to reach 45–50% from current service of 32%. After 15 years of struggle of RT experts, finally the pattern of Bulgarian RT care at 2014–2015 is approaching the level of modern European RT.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2015; 20(5) : 340-350

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