In emergencies call 112 to obtain help.

Right to treatment

With the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can receive medically necessary treatment when you are temporarily staying in Bulgaria. Medically necessary treatment means treatment that cannot wait until you return home. You may need such treatment, for example, due to sudden illness or an accident.

You can also receive treatment related to pregnancy, childbirth, or chronic illnesses. If you have a condition that requires regular treatment while you are staying abroad, contact a health care provider in advance to arrange the treatment.

The European Health Insurance Card does not guarantee free treatment and you will be charged the same amount as local residents. We recommend carrying additional copies of your card. If you do not have a European Health Insurance Card or if it is not accepted, you will need to pay the cost of treatment yourself. You can then apply for reimbursement from Kela afterward.

Before accessing care, you should make sure that the service provider (e.g. doctor, hospital, medical laboratory, pharmacy) is contracted by the Bulgarian National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). Private medical services are also available in Bulgaria and if you receive treatment there, you have to pay all costs yourself.

The availability of public healthcare in Bulgaria varies. In rural areas, the availability of doctor and hospital services is more limited than in the larger towns. Be aware, that rescue services in the mountain resorts of Bulgaria are not covered by the statutory health insurance. To have coverage while in the mountains, you should get a mountain accident insurance. Otherwise, you are liable for all costs by yourself.

Sudden illness


In need of a doctor, you should look up a general practitioner who is contracted by the NHIF. Most doctors have such a contract. You can request the contact information of doctors from NHIF or one of the regional health insurance funds (RHIF). Show your European Health Insurance Card and ID at the appointment. In this way, you will pay only the consultation fee.

You can see a specialist if you have a general practitioner’s referral. You pay the consultation fee for the treatment. If you see a specialist without a referral, you will have to pay the full price of the treatment.


You can see dentist without a referral. If the dentist is contracted by the NHIF you will receive treatment at the co-payment rate when presenting your European Health Insurance Card and ID. The amount of co-payment depends on the procedure. However, the scope of dental care covered by NHIF is extremely limited.


If you get medication prescribed with form No. 5, you should collect the medicines from a pharmacy that has a contract with the NHIF. With your European Health Insurance Card, you will receive the medicines either free of charge or at a partially reduced rate. If you receive a prescription form other than No. 5, you will not receive any reimbursement and so you can collect the medicines from any pharmacy.

Hospital treatment

For hospital treatment you will need a doctor’s referral unless it’s an emergency. Go to a hospital that has a contract with the NHIF and present the referral alongside your European Health Insurance Card and ID. You will be asked to fill in a declaration that the purpose of your stay in Bulgaria is not to receive treatment. In this case, you should only have to pay the standrad daily fee for hospital stay and any separate costs accrued from medical supplies, which are not covered by the national health insurance fund. Daily fees for hospitalization are not collected for more than 10 days/year. After being discharged, you are entitled to two free check-ups. Ambulance transport in emergencies is free.

If your illness requires you to use special transport when returning to Finland, you will be liable for the travel costs in their entirety. You are recommended to take out a travel insurance that covers these costs Information about reimbursements of the costs of medical care can be obtained from Bulgaria´s National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

Read more about suddenly falling ill in Europe.

Read more about reimbursement of costs of treatment abroad.

Useful websites

If you want to travel to Bulgaria to use healthcare services there, you should read our website for general information about seeking treatment abroad. For more specific information concerning Bulgaria, you should contact the National Contact Point of Bulgaria.

Quality and safety of treatment

In the event of treatment injuries, the legislation and patient insurance of the country providing the treatment is always applied. In case you are unhappy with the treatment you received, you should primarily try to sort the matter out with the treatment provider. The national contact point can help you with finding the right authority if you wish to make a complaint.

Healthcare system

The Bulgarian health system is based on an insurance model consisting of compulsory social health insurance and voluntary health insurance. The public health insurance is performed by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). The national health insurance fund is a public institution that administers compulsory health insurance in Bulgaria. It is divided into 28 subdivisions in the regional central cities – regional health insurance funds (RHIF). The benefit package and prices of services are negotiated between the NHIF and the professional associations of physicians and dentists in Bulgaria. The negotiation takes place every year.

Healthcare providers are autonomous self-governing organisations. The private sector encompasses all primary medical and dental care and the pharmaceutical sector, most of the specialised outpatient care and some hospitals.