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Student absences for medical reasons will be excused electronically

The medical note for excused absences of students from grades 1 to 12 will be issued only electronically from October 1st. This will greatly relieve parents, reduce the administrative burden for teachers and further protect access to children's personal data.

The process of issuing an e-medical note was presented today by the Minister of Electronic Government Alexander Iolovski, the Minister of Health Prof. Hristo Hinkov and the Minister of Education Prof. Galin Tsokov.

The innovation is part of the implementation of the third phase of the National Health Information System, completely eliminating the issuance of paper notes, and the additional functionality was developed by "Information Service" JSC.
"The introduction of the electronic note is a bright example of what can be done at a fast pace when there is a clearly set goal," noted Minister Alexander Iolovski during the presentation. He specified that after an examination by the personal doctor, the information about the student's health status will be transmitted to the electronic diary of the respective school, and the process is fully automated. Absence excuse notes in electronic format will be issued not only by the general practitioner, but also by medical specialists from inpatient and outpatient medical care. "We are talking about a much more serious transformation of the model by which absences are excused. The electronicization of this process will lead to the elimination of administrative burdens and to the facilitation of the entire process," the minister of e-governance also commented.

"Abolishing the paper medium will give us statistics on how many students do not go to school and for what medical reasons. In this way, diseases and epidemics in the respective regions and schools can be easily analyzed and tracked," said Prof. Hristo Hinkov. The Minister of Health also specified that each document will have a National Reference Number, which will be automatically generated after entering the physical examination data, which will contribute to the reduction of medical notes with incorrect content.

"Electronic notes will reduce the classroom teacher's work by 2 to 3 hours per month, or by more than one full working day per year. In other words - with this relief, we will save an average of 3 full working days per year for teachers, in which they they will be able to devote themselves to working with students, instead of administrative work," said Prof. Galin Tsokov. According to him, last school year over 270,000 students were absent from school for valid reasons, and the average number of absences per student was 50. "This is not a small figure at all, and the subsequent analysis will be very important - how the electronic note reflected these trends, because frequent absence from school is among the risk factors for permanent dropout from the education system," explained the Minister of Education and Science. He stressed that reducing the administrative burden is a top priority for his team and more opportunities will be sought for better electronic management of the education system so that teachers have more time for their real work.

The chairman and vice-chairman of the Bulgarian Medical Union, Dr. Ivan Madzharov and Dr. Nikolay Brunzalov, as well as project manager at "Information Service" JSC Ivaylo Stoichev, also participated in the event.

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