55.7% of Medics Work in Stressful Environment
November 5 (BTA) - Bulgarian health workers are subjected
to strong stress and even psychological abuse while doing their
job. Their workplace climate is often not good, which is one of
the reasons, especially for younger people, to look for a job
abroad, the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in
Bulgaria (CITUB) said on Tuesday.
These and other conclusions were drawn on the basis of a
nationwide survey which looked into disease incidence and
absence from work in the healthcare sector due to psychological
and social reasons. The survey was conducted by the
CITUB-affiliated Federation of Healthcare Unions.
Asked whether they are faced with the risk of stress and abuse
in the workplace, 55.7 per cent of respondents answer in the
affirmative. Over 60 per cent say they have suffered
psychological abuse in the workplace. The main reasons for this
are excessive workload and understaffing, unreasonably high
demands raised by patients or their relatives, working with
minorities, and internal conflicts among medical staff due to
Some 58.3 per cent of interviewees describe their workplace
climate as "not good." Younger medical workers experience higher
levels of emotional fatigue than older medics.
The main factors for stress at work are overtime work (according
to 51.8 per cent of those polled), working at night and on
weekends or holidays, extended working hours, cumulative working
time, insufficient rest time, doing non-core work, bureaucracy,
and being on duty too often or for long periods of time because
there is no one else to do the job. The stress experienced by
nursing professionals who are on duty is four times the level
registered among other health professionals.
The survey also shows that 68 per cent of Bulgarian medical
workers are faced with health risks associated with their job.
Anxiety, nervousness and sleep disorders are a problem for 43.7
per cent of respondents; physical and psychological fatigue
after work is observed in 63 per cent of them; emotional
disorders, palpitation and headaches are an issue for 38 per
cent; and back, muscle and joint pain is reported by 64 per
A worrying 91 per cent of health workers see no measures being
taken to address the causes of psychological and social risks in
In order to boost the motivation of medical specialists and
encourage young medics to work in Bulgaria, the CITUB proposes a
legislative amendment to allow municipal and central government
authorities who own medical establishments to provide pay
supplements to the staff in these establishments.
The survey was conducted between May 1 and October 30, 2019
among 1,245 respondents, including physicians, nurses,
attendants and administrators in 53 medical and healthcare
establishments. Most respondents have over 16 years of working
experience in the field. RY/VE