Modern cardiac surgery and robotic thoracic surgery are crucial for reducing mortality in Bulgaria

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According to the WHO, over the past 20 years cardiovascular disease, in particular ischaemic heart disease, has continued to be the leading cause of death worldwide. According to the NSI for 2021, more than half of deaths in Bulgaria are caused by diseases of the circulatory organs. The recorded figures in our country (54%) are far higher than the average cardiovascular mortality rate across Europe (45%) and in the EU (37%).

World-renowned specialist in robot-assisted thoracic surgery, Prof. Diego Gonzalez Rivas: “You have a great future because you believe, invest and make mass, modern and crucial medicine.”

There are ten medical institutions with cardiac surgery clinics in the country, spread across the six most populated districts – Sofia (city), Sofia (region), Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas and Pleven. In 2022, according to NHIF data, a total of 5682 cardiac surgery interventions were performed under the four main clinical pathways in this specialty. 24% out of these, or nearly 1500 surgeries, were performed by the Heart and Brain teams in Pleven and Burgas, with the lowest hospital mortality rates recorded. One third of all major operations for complex malformations requiring particularly high expertise were performed in these two cardiac surgeries. In third place is another private hospital owned by a foreign investor in the capital.

Medicine is an applied science. Cardiac surgery is a great manifestation of this fact. The more it is practiced, the more surgeons improve and so patients choose the best ones who have saved the most lives.

The number of cardiac surgical procedures performed at Heart and Brain exceeds the standard 150 surgeries per year by a factor of ten, making them the leader and first choice of patients in the country. The knowledge and skills applied every day in the large number of successful, complex cardiac surgical interventions maintain and build on the expertise of the teams. It is no coincidence that just since the beginning of the year, two of the luminaries of cardiac surgery and thoracic minimally invasive surgery arrived from Switzerland and Spain to work with the specialists in Pleven and Burgas. Visits by world-renowned clinicians from the United States and Germany are forthcoming.

The world-famous Swiss cardiac surgeon Prof. Thierry Carrel: “It is a great miracle how, with these very low Bulgarian prices for your clinical pathways, you achieve European, even world quality in hospital care”.

Healthcare is a national, beyond party boundaries, existential and pan-European priority. Competition in healthcare and forward-looking strategic private investment are crucial drivers of innovation in the sector and a major reason for keeping young doctors in the country and attracting specialists from abroad. There are also excellent examples of good synergies between municipal, state and private hospitals in individual regions and can easily be achieved across the country. In this way, competition on quality and cooperation in functions and between levels of competence increases the efficiency and attractiveness of health services, significantly expands access to medical care and, most importantly, in the long term, reduces mortality and mitigates the demographic crisis.

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