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Healthcare: THE ACTIVITY OF THE MEDICAL AND HEALTHCARE PROTECTION NETWORK IN 2023

July 22, 2024

In 2023: ? over 67 thousand healthcare units were in operation; ? there were, on average, 262 inhabitants1 per doctor (including family doctors), compared to 267 inhabitants in 2022; ? hospitals treated 3.7 million cases as inpatients, 504 thousand cases more than in 2022.   According to the National Institute of Statistics data, in 2023, the activities of the medical and healthcare protection network were performed in over 67 thousand healthcare units (55 thousand healthcare units in the urban area and 12 thousand healthcare units in the rural area), over 1.7 thousand units more than the previous year.   According to the breakdown by main categories of units, in 2023, the healthcare network included: 554 hospitals, compared to 544 hospitals in 2022; 163 healthcare units (including units assimilated to hospitals) that provide only day care hospitalisation services or ambulatory care and day care hospitalisation services2 , 3 units more than the previous year; over 14 thousand independent specialised doctors’ offices, 744 units more than in 2022; approximately 17 thousand independent dentists’ offices, 605 units more than the previous year; over 10 thousand family doctors’ offices, a decrease of 178 offices compared to 2022.   Out of the 717 hospitals and units assimilated to hospitals that were in operation in 2023, only 355 were large medical units (with more than 100 beds) and 280 were small medical units (with less than 50 beds).   The pharmaceutical network provided services through approximately 10 thousand pharmacies, drugstores and pharmaceutical points, 92 units more than in 2022, with each of them servicing, on average, 1910 inhabitants .   • Primary healthcare   The primary healthcare, provided through the network of family doctors’ offices, represents the first contact of the population with the healthcare system, both for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and for conducting preventive medical tests. A larger number of family doctors’ offices operated in the urban area, namely 6.2 thousand offices compared to 4.1 thousand offices in the rural area. In the rural area there were 1.4 times more inhabitants1 per family doctor’s office than in the urban area.   • Specialised ambulatory care   The specialised ambulatory care is provided by specialised units such as specialised ambulatory care facilities, medical and dental centres, polyclinics, diagnosis and treatment centres etc., units that are mostly located in the urban area.   The network of independent specialised doctors’ offices and of independent dentists’ offices – which forms part of the ambulatory care system – is also predominantly located in the urban area. While 13.7 thousand independent specialised doctors’ offices were in operation in the urban area in 2023, their number was 17.3 times smaller in the rural area (793 offices). The average number of inhabitants1 per independent specialised doctor’s office was 15.8 times higher in the rural area than in the urban area.   The medical care provided to inpatients and day care patients by healthcare units   In 2023, the 717 hospitals and units assimilated to hospitals that were in operation had at their disposal 136.1 thousand beds for inpatients (125.7 thousand beds in the urban area and 10.4 thousand beds in the rural area) and approximately 10.2 thousand beds for day care patients (only 453 beds in the rural area).   In 2023, the hospitals and the units assimilated to hospitals provided care services to 3.7 million inpatients and 5.3 million day care patients, 1.3 million patients more compared to 2022, when 7.7 million patients (including both inpatients and day care patients) were treated. As regards the number of hospital beds made available, 91.3% of the total number of beds (for inpatients and day care patients) were available to patients in large hospitals (units with more than 100 beds each). In 2023, the average length of hospital stay was 6.9 days/patient.   The patients with health and social care needs benefitted, on average, from 190.4 days/patient of medical and social care services in health and social care units. The prevention and control of tuberculosis as well as the treatment of stabilised patients were done, on average, for inpatients, during 194.7 days/patient in the two preventoria, while the treatment of patients with tuberculosis was done, on average, during 26.1 days/patient in the two specialised sanatoria.   • The healthcare staff   As regards the healthcare staff, in 2023, the healthcare system included 72.7 thousand doctors (including family doctors), an increase of 1.4 thousand doctors compared to 2022; 21.2 thousand dentists, 0.2 thousand dentists less than in 2022; 21.7 thousand pharmacists, a decrease of 0.9 thousand pharmacists compared to the previous year; 20.2 thousand nurses with higher education, 1.3 thousand more than in 2022; 156.3 thousand healthcare staff with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education, 0.4 thousand less than in 2022, and 76.3 thousand auxiliary healthcare staff, a decrease of 0.3 thousand persons compared to 2022. The healthcare staff is predominantly composed of women, who account for 71.0% of the doctors, 66.5% of the dentists and 89.7% of the pharmacists.   In 2023, the number of doctors (excluding family doctors) increased by 1421 compared to 2022, with 97% of them being resident physicians. The medical specialities which reported the highest number of doctors were family medicine (12471), internal medicine (3259), anaesthesia and intensive care (3218), paediatrics (3178) and general medicine (3028). The lowest number of doctors was reported for the following medical specialities: medical rehabilitation (77), clinical pharmacology (105) and nuclear medicine (118). The distribution of the healthcare staff by area of residence is determined by the territorial distribution of healthcare units, with the existing major discrepancies being maintained.   Out of the total number of doctors, approximately one fifth were family doctors, with two thirds of them working in the urban area. In 2023, as in the previous year, the differences in available healthcare staff between the areas of residence are indicated by the number of inhabitants per main category of healthcare staff. In the rural area there were 2304 inhabitants1 per family doctor (compared to 1167 inhabitants1 per family doctor in the urban area), 3971 inhabitants1 per dentist (compared to 526 inhabitants1 per dentist in the urban area) and 2713 inhabitants1 per pharmacist (compared to 541 inhabitants per pharmacist in the urban area).

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