He mentioned that the techniques of interventional cardiology are very little developed in Romania. ‘In 2009, there were nearly 6,500 procedures of coronary dilatation performed in Romania. Compared with the total population size, that means 295 coronary dilatations to 1 million citizens, meaning the fewest in Europe and about half of what is being performed in comparable countries such as Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia; much more less than what is being performed in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, not to mention Germany, the Netherlands or Switzerland,’ said Vinereanu.
He mentioned that Romania is also faring badly in terms of primary angioplasty, the highly performing cardiology technique that provides coronary dilatation to patients having suffered acute heart failures. ‘Romania is performing 20 angioplasty surgeries in 1 million people, which compared with elsewhere in Europe means nearly one tenth of what Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia are doing. The Czech Republic and Poland are ways ahead and this method is preponderant in these countries,’ said Vinereanu.
He argued that for highly performing interventional cardiology adequate equipping is required, saying that despite the investment being expensive, the long-term benefits are huge and less costly than traditional treatments for such patients. ‘Angioplasty is the object of a Health Ministry-sponsored programme that, unfortunately, has continually been shoe-stringed. In 2009, nearly 15 percent of the funds for it were cut form 2008 because of the crisis.
We wait and see what is happening this year. Upon the suggestion of the Cardiology Committee an angioplasty treatment programme will be released. There are 16 centres nationwide using this procedure, including Cluj, the CC Iliescu Fundeni Institute, Timosara, Targu Mures, the Bucharest University Hospital and the Iasi Cardiology Institute,’ said Vinereanu.
Romania, the specialist said, does not fare well in relation to this type of cardiology, because there are only 60 specialists, compared with Poland’s 800. Also, the over-specialty of interventional cardiology has been discarded from Romania’s university education and there are efforts underway to have it returned.