Association National Network of Health Mediators
The National Network of Health Mediators is an association founded in 2007 that developed and is successfully implementing
the model of Health Mediation in Bulgaria. The Network has national coverage and is the biggest public benefit organization
in Bulgaria whose members are daily in the field, helping the most vulnerable groups of the population. The Network has
more than 170 members – Health Mediators, medical specialists, sociologists, psychologists, experts in the field of ethnic
minorities’ integration, public figures united by one mission - improving the access and the quality of health services for
the people from vulnerable communities.
In 2001, the team of Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation introduced the model of Health Mediation in Bulgaria
as part of a pilot project. Within its framework, the first five Health Mediators were trained and started to work in Kiustendil.
Since 2007, the profession of “Health Mediator” has been included in the Bulgarian National Classificatory of Professions. 170
Health Mediators are currently working in more than 90 municipalities in Bulgaria and are financed through the state budget.
The Health Mediators are both women and men of different age, they originate from the communities in which they
work and speak the community language. They have graduated secondary education as a minimum requirement and
are communicative, dynamic and creative persons. The training of Health Mediators takes place in licensed educational
institutions – Medical University-Sofia and the Medical College in Plovdiv. Each year the National Network of Health
Mediators, based on the internal surveys and assessment of the development of the program, proposes expanding of
the territory covered by the Network, and organizes and participates in the training of new Health Mediators.
· Facilitating the access to health and social services for everyone in disadvantaged position;
· Improving the quality of health and social services in Bulgaria;
· Increasing the health culture of vulnerable groups and the level of information with regard to health system;
· Strengthening the European practices and approaches for facilitating the access to health services for vulnerable groups;
· Creating and developing of new, more qualitative services in the field of mediation and provision of health services;
· Increasing the capacity and skills of Health Mediators;
· Carrying out of civil initiatives and collaboration with state institutions, local and regional authorities;
· Strengthening of the Health Mediator’s position on local and national level as well as in international context as a key
figure in integration policies.
· To increase the level of immunizations among vulnerable communities, participation in national campaigns for
· To improve the access to health and social services through the active facilitation of the Health Mediator;
· To improve the relationship between doctors and patients from vulnerable communities;
· To increase the health culture and the information level of the population on many important topics through work on
individual cases and group work (health-information campaigns with health specialists, health institutions, Regional
· Health Inspectorates);
· Advocacy activities for ensuring free of charge examinations for pregnant women and young mothers without health
· Advocacy activities in cases of illegal collection of fees for check-ups;
· To ensure coordination of prophylactic check-ups with mobile units – preliminary informing and motivating of the
population to participate.
Development of Health Mediator’s program
Each year the number of municipalities willing to include Health Mediators in their teams is increasing. In order to guarantee
the sustainability and further development of the Program, the National Network of Health Mediators aims to:
· Expand the network of Health Mediators in new settlements and municipalities with compact Roma community and
identified health problems and needs;
· Increase the capacity of the working Health Mediators through continuous education, trainings and exchange
· Elaborate national standard for the work of the Health Mediators;
· Popularize the profession of “Health Mediator”.
Developed training programs that are carried out by multi-disciplinary team and their target groups are the medical staff
from the Roma quarters. There was also established a system for Exchange of information- Health Mediators and members
of the network communicate through their professional forum on the website www.zdravenmediator.net
National Network of Health Mediators
81V “Alexander Stamboliiski” Blvd., 1303 Sofia