Perceived barriers to the development of modern public health in Bulgaria: a qualitative study.

Scott, KW; Powles, J; Thomas, H; Rechel, B; (2011) Perceived barriers to the development of modern public health in Bulgaria: a qualitative study. International journal of public health, 56 (2). pp. 191-9. ISSN 1661-8556 DOI:

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OBJECTIVES: This qualitative investigation documents Bulgarian perspectives on public health following its accession to the European Union (EU) and explores perceived obstacles to the modernization of public health sciences to more effectively address the country's high rates of premature avoidable mortality. METHODS: 28 semi-structured interviews were conducted throughout Bulgaria in April 2007 with Bulgarian academics, clinicians, policymakers and students in Sofia, Varna and Pleven. Full transcripts were subjected to formal thematic analysis. RESULTS: Respondents identified various barriers to the development and modernization to public health infrastructures in Bulgaria that were classified by four key interlinked themes: (1) institutional and political, (2) financial, (3) dearth of local epidemiological studies, and (4) insufficient public health capacity. CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to explore specific perspectives and beliefs regarding barriers to the development, modernization, and utilization of public health sciences in Bulgaria. Although the reorientation and strengthening of public health institutions are unlikely to proceed without resistance, optimism for improvement in this field exists now that Bulgaria has joined the EU.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
PubMed ID: 20379759
Web of Science ID: 288960100008


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