Romania, lowest rate of health care spending amid EU member states

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The Romanian health care system in in danger to collapse in 2010, in case the authorities will not allocate at least 4.5 percent of the GDP, says director of consultancy company for pharmaceutical industry Cegedim Petru Craciun.

He maintains that, in the situation when the budget allocation will fail to exceed 3 percent of the GDP, more than 1,500 pharmacies could become bankrupt, and approximately 1,500 medicines will disappear from the market. ‘In line with the current project, I plan not to have a lower budget in 2010 compared to 2009’, explained Cegedim director.

According to Cegedim, Romania had health care spending of 473 dollars per capita last year, lower than in all the other European Union member states, ranking at the bottom of the list in the EU and on one of the last spots in Europe. Romania allocates some 3 percent of the GDP to health care, less than all the EU member countries, the West European average being 7.4 percent.

Cegedim statistical data reveals that the total spending with medicines per capita are of 104 euros, Romania ranking 29th of 33 states. In 2009, as many as 281 medicines were out of the market, and some other 273 are on the brink to disappear as well, given shrinking sales by 50 percent, Cegedim informs.

The price medicines reduction in 2009 could lead to the disappearance from the Romanian market of some 1,500 medicines of a total of 5,200, or they could be found in insufficient quantities. The measure to delay the payment of compensated and free medicines could boost 3.5-fold the number of pharmacies closed down in the fourth quarter, compared to Q3, when 42 pharmacies were closed, especially in the rural zones.

On the other hand, according to Cegedim data, the number of specialized medical practitioners is of 259 per 100,000 inhabitants and for anesthetists, intensive therapy and psychiatry specialists even a third of the EU average. Cegedim reminds that more than 65 percent of the medical doctors active in Romania are aged 50 years or over. Lately, Romania has been confronted with an increasing number of medical doctors wishing to leave the country, due to lack of access to technology, to equipment and low wages.

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