Bulgarian Dentists Raged at American Volunteer Because of Free Dental Care

Views on BG | April 21, 2011, Thursday // 12:21

From WorlDental.org

An American dentist from the JCBA humanitarian organization provided free dental care to poor villagers in Selcha near Devin, Bulgaria.

The seniors of the village have been offered free dental care for a whole week, and this has sparked a sort of a rage among Bulgarian dentists of Devin.

They say that they have been disregarded and felt sidelined by the situation.

The incident has been reported by a Bulgarian television channel – bTV- a few days ago.

The majority of the inhabitants of Selcha are seniors, and they don't have proper health insurance. They also find it extremely difficult to travel to closest Devin for dental care, since they simply cannot afford it.

An extraction would cost them 20 leva (app. $14), but only the travel costs rise up to more than 30 leva (app. $22), so obviously this is not advantageous to them.

Some of the villagers who have been interviewed by bTV, told that corruption is at its height in Devin, and that dentists overcharge for their services. In the village of Selcha there has not been a dentist for well over two years. There has been a tradition that a dentist would come up once a week, but for some reason they stopped to do so.

The Bulgarian Dentist Association had a very negative reaction to the fact than an American dentist from the JCBA provided free dental services to the poor villagers of Selcha.

Moreover, even the mayor has been threatened that he is going to be fined, because it's not sure whether the dentist is qualified for the job, and he shouldn't have allowed these free dental services to happen. However, all of the interviewed villagers were very happy with the results, so Mayor Venelin Opov has not been fined after all.

The BDA officials said that they care about the health of their citizens, and they just want the law to be obeyed by everybody, and that there is no money issue in between.

The American dentist was a skilled professional, who had previous experience in treating Bulgarian patients in remoter places such as Smolyan (Rhodope Mt.).

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