New Horizons for Centres of Expertise for rare diseases in Bulgaria

Eleonora Hristova


Bulgaria was the second EU Member State and the first Eastern European country to adopt an official national plan for rare diseases in 2008. One of the plan’s main priorities was to conduct a study on feasibility of reference centres for rare diseases in the country. The plan’s funding was, however, greatly disrupted and this activity was never implemented. Following the adoption of the EU Directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare in 2011, Bulgarian health authorities started re-examining rare diseases national policy and formally adopted in 2014 a Ministerial Ordinance №16 on the conditions and procedures for registration of rare diseases and designation of centres of expertise and reference networks for rare diseases.

This article aims to explore the evolution of the Bulgarian public health policy and practice on designating centres of expertise for rare diseases.

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