Asylum seekers are entitled to the same health care as nationals. Under the law, the SAR has the obligation to cover the health insurance of asylum seekers.
In practice, asylum seekers have access to available health care services, but do face the same difficulties as the nationals due to the general state of deterioration in a national health care system that suffers from great material and financial deficiencies.1 In this situation, special conditions for treatment of torture victims and persons suffering mental health problems are not available. According to the law, the medical assistance cannot be accessed if the reception conditions are reduced or withdrawn.
Medical assistance is being provided by a nurse and a doctor on a daily basis only in the reception centre in Sofia (Ovcha Kupel shelter); by a doctor and two paramedics in Harmanli reception centre; by a paramedic and a nurse in Pastrogor transit centre and by a paramedic in Banya reception centre. Asylum seekers accommodated in Vrazhdebna and Voenna Rampa shelters in Sofia have their medical care provided by the staff in Ovcha Kupel shelter.
- 1. Open Society Institute, Legal Standards and Arrangements for the Protection of Individual Health Rights and Entitlements, Sofia, October 2011.