Foreign Investors Council (FIC) warns that Romania’s healthcare system must be a priority

Georgeta Gheorghe 26/07/2017 | 11:04

The Foreign Investors Council (FIC) warned that Romania’s healthcare system should be a priority for Romanian authorities. 

Between 2013-2016 FIC rolled out a campaign called De profesie: Medic in Romania,which focused on the declining number of health professionals in the country. Ours was one of the first organisations outside the healthcare sector to talk publicly about the availability of qualified personnel in the healthcare sector and the impact on well-being and long term economic growth, FIC said in an open letter.

We acknowledge that health is now a priority for Romanian authorities and that the total spending on healthcare has grown significantly over the last four years (although it is still the lowest proportion of GDP allocated to healthcare in the EU). Even though the authorities have put a lot of effort in trying to solve important issues in the healthcare sector in the last few years, the sector is still not working according to EU standards, FIC warns.

That is why, “our community continues to be worried about the healthcare system in Romania which has significant impact on the population at large and consequently on economy.”

Consequently, FIC warns that the percentage of the population over 50 years of age is expected to increase from 36 percent in 2015 to 43 percent in 2020. Moreover, Romania’s ageing index deteriorated 39.7 percent in the last 13 years from 80.2 in 2003 to 112.1 in 2016. Displaying an imbalance risk on future health contribution budgets sustainability (reflected by the demographic dependency ratio growing systematically from 46.4 in 2003 to 49.0 in 2016.

All these factors highlight the need for prevention, education, financing, efficiency and quality in the healthcare system. On the long term, it would translate into healthy employees and sustainable economic growth.

FIC believes that any measures regarding the healthcare sector should be carefully weighted and discussed with all stakeholders so that they do not contribute to a worsening of the social and economic conditions.

We believe that the healthcare of Romanian citizens is important for the future of this country. Therefore, we believe concrete action is needed on two important pillars, namely sustainability and the quality of care.

Sustainability

According to FIC, reforms should be correlated with demographic evolution as to offset the decrease in the contribution base and related funding. Moreover, the funds allocated for the healthcare sector should be spent efficiently and wisely. There have been too many public cases where funds allocated for procurement in the healthcare sector have not been spent properly. Funds need to be allocated and spent based on evidence and performance. Although the Healthcare budget has increased in the past few years the money allocated for new medicine and infrastructure has been flat.

At the same time, the budget allocated for treatments was established at the level of consumption in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2011, and has been maintained at the same level for the last years. Consequently, we recommend the increase of the allocated budget for treatments based on objective measures through extending the contribution base of the FNUASS budget and through other measures for transparency. Romania needs to modernise its healthcare infrastructure and quickly; authorities must accept that the funds available do not cover all needs and therefore prioritisation is necessary. There is a need for long term predictability and transparency in the way the healthcare system is funded, and also for improving the legal framework on developing public private partnership in Romania.

Quality of care

Treatments must stay on the Romanian market and patients must have the possibility to access them in due time as to not affect their condition. Romanian patients need to have quicker access to new drugs and new therapies that are considered a standard of care in the EU. Romania is far below in some of these standards, FIC warns.
In the past 8 to 10 years, Romania approved 50 new drugs compared with 650 for the EU.

Citizens across the country must have access to reasonable treatments and standards without discrimination, FIC said in their open letter.

The Foreign Investors Council (FIC) brings together 130 of the largest companies in Romania, that cover all major economic sectors, with a total turnover of more than RON 180 billion and our members employ 4 percent of the total workforce in Romania and bring a solid contribution to the state budget.

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Georgeta Gheorghe | 29/11/2022 | 10:17

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