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7 October 2019

Health tourism in Bulgaria

In the last couple of years, a really interesting pattern has been noticed. The number of medical tourists in Bulgaria has reached a peak with over 47 000 tourists visiting the country in 2016, and the numbers continue to rise for the past few years. In 2019 Bulgaria is one of the preferred destinations for what is known as “medical tourism”.


Medical tourism in Bulgaria


Medical tourism in Bulgaria

Medical tourism can be best described as traveling with the main goal to undergo certain medical procedures. In Bulgaria, people choose mostly dental, aesthetic, physiotherapeutic and surgical procedures. To some people, it may be surprised that people from Western Europe and Russia decide to visit a small country such as Bulgaria and trust their lives in the hands of Bulgarian doctors. But there is actually a good explanation behind that.

The first and most important positive feature of Bulgarian health services is that they are actually of high quality and great value for money. All of the procedures you can undergo in Bulgarian clinics and hospitals are several times cheaper than the very same ones that are carried out in countries such as Germany, UK, France, etc. of course with the proviso that the procedures are not paid from the national healthcare system.

But it is not just the low prices that lure tourists to Bulgaria. The quality of treatments is becoming more and more competitive in Western Europe. The number of well-known specialists in different health fields has drastically increased in recent years. The mineral water resources also add up to the possible health procedures a patient can undergo in Bulgaria.



Balneo and Physio therapies in Bulgaria

Balneo tourism in Bulgaria


It is important to note that everything started back in the 2000s with the rise of spa and recovery tourism. With the development of different procedures with mineral water and the different physiotherapy treatments and opportunities. Nowadays the physiotherapy sector is one of the best developed in the country. Thousands of people visit Bulgaria just to take advantage of the healing properties of the mineral water or healing mud that can be found on the Black Sea coast.

Bulgaria has thousands of mineral springs scattered all over the entirety of its territory. It has been scientifically proven that Bulgarian mineral water shares the very same properties as the water in the very famous resorts such as Baden-Baden and Vichy. The balneology and mud bath therapy centers are popular with both locals and foreigners because of their amazing healing properties. Those centers often offer different rehabilitation programs for all kinds of injuries. The low prices are also a really important feature. Accommodation, food, and therapy for a week rarely cost more than 900 – 1300 Euro which is really cheaper compared to the prices in the famous resorts listed above.


Plastic surgeries and aesthetic tourism in Bulgaria

Aesthetic tourism in Bulgaria


Another key part of medical tourism in Bulgaria is the aesthetics industry. It is not exactly health-oriented but it is one of the most common reasons people come to the country. Usually, plastic surgeries are not carried out in state-run hospitals or clinics. There are a wide network and a variety of private clinics that offer some really high-quality procedures. The standards are really high since some of Europe’s top specialists work in Bulgaria. The severe competition drives all of the specialists to acquire only the best equipment, to use only the newest and most efficient methods in their work. Any aesthetics procedure or plastic surgery in Bulgaria is really a great value for your money!

But what really attracts the patients is not only the quality service but the extremely low prices of the procedures. In Bulgaria, they are about a few times lower than the cost of the very same ones in western countries.


Dental tourism in Bulgaria

Dental tourism in Bulgaria


Usually, people say that cheaper options lack in quality. Bulgarian dentistry is proof that in some cases that’s not true. The number of foreign tourists that flock to the country in order to receive adequate and high-quality dental care is stunning. There are thousands of different clinics all over the country where you can have all of the procedures you need to be done. The prices for a standard procedure such as cleaning caries ranges from 30-40 Euro. That is really shocking, keeping in mind the fact that the exact same procedure can cost up to 100 Euro in the western parts of Europe. The shocking difference in price, however, does not mean a difference in quality. Bulgarian dentistry is known for keeping in track with modern technologies and methods. Even the most complicated procedures are being carried out for outstandingly low prices. And that is just what draws tourists from the entirety of Europe to Bulgaria.

Usually, such complicated interventions are made in small steps during a few-days long period, so in the meantime, tourists have the time to enjoy the beauty of Bulgarian nature and experience more of our culture. The peculiar thing is even in the case of dental procedures, with all the living costs (accommodation, food, entertainment) included, it still seems to be cheaper to undergo the procedures in Bulgaria.


Surgeries in Bulgaria

Surgeries in Bulgaria


The very same applies to the surgical field. All of the procedures in fields such as cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, etc. are on a level so high that they can compete and even surpass those carried out in other countries. Sofia city will be the European neurosurgery capital in 2022. Bulgaria is a preferred destination not only because of the extremely knowledgeable doctors that cater to the needs of each and every one of their patients. The low prices of hospitalization and the entire surgical procedures are what really draws people to the country. The post-surgical period is usually spent in a hospital, but those patients who require a longer stay under the regular check-ups of a doctor often choose to rent a place to stay.


Accomodations for your stay in Bulgaria

It is important to note that hiring a private villa, a flat, a house or even a hotel room for the recovery process and the necessary check-ups that you need to be in Bulgaria for is still cheaper than only the procedure in other countries. That is why foreign medical tourists choose Bulgaria. They not only benefit from the professional cares of excellent medical staff, but they also experience a new country, live in a different place for quite some time and explore new cultures. And all of this at a price that is several times lower.




Some of you may wonder why the prices of medical services in Bulgaria are so low if the doctors and specialists are so skillful and caring. It is the fact that prices need to match the average Bulgarian income (which as you probably have heard is not that high). In this case, cheaper medical procedures do not mean low quality or lower standards of equipment. It only means that our health system is trying to provide sufficient healthcare for everyone. Tourists seem to wonder if this is legal, and if using the cheaper healthcare system is not forbidden by any laws. It is not in Bulgaria. In fact, the government is currently searching for ways to further develop Bulgaria as a medical tourist destination. So it would be no surprise if in the nearby future Bulgaria grows to play an even more significant role in the healthcare sector worldwide.


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