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February 4, 2023

Cseke Attila: Romanian medical staff mentality needs to change

The Health minister stressed the “danger” that patients may prefer medical services abroad, which, under an EP-passed directive to come into effect in two and a half years’ time, will be paid by “Romanian taxpayers’ money.”

The crisis the Romanian medical system is going through is not news for anybody in this country anymore. And, as authorities are yet to find a solution to the problem, hope comes from the European Parliament, who has recently passed a directive to enter effect two and a half years from now that allows patients to get medical treatment in any EU state of their choice.

In other words, the Romanian patients may get treatment abroad on state money, as it happens in other EU countries. This couldn’t have been better news for those patients discontented with the quality of medical services in Romania. In order for the medical system to avoid losing ground in the face of such possibility, Health Minister Cseke Attila is drawing attention to the medical staff to change their mentality. “Two things need to be done in order that this directive would not catch us by surprise. Firstly, to invest more in the infrastructure here, and in medical equipment, and we are doing this within the confines of our ability to do so. Secondly, the medical personnel needs to change their attitude,” Mediafax quoted Cseke Attila as saying. Otherwise, he said, there runs the “danger” for patients, mostly from the western part of the country, to opt for medical services abroad, to be paid from “Romanian taxpayers money”.
“The Romanian state will pay Romanian taxpayers money straight into the account of a hospital in Hungary, Szeged, or in Vienna, so on and so forth. Unless we all understand this could happen, we will have a rather big problem, and the Romanian medical system too, and I won’t shy away from saying there runs the risk for certain areas or hospitals to remain without patients. And that, since the patient would prefer a medical service paid by the Romanian state yet in other states,” the health minister said. Asked what this mentality change could mean, Cseke answered: “It means we should smile a bit to a patient, since it appears we have even forgotten how to smile. (…) We must try to behave nicer with the patient, since otherwise we would lose them, and with them, we will also lose hospital funding.”

Cseke Attila also maintains that none of the university centres in Romania has a top-rated emergency clinical hospital given their lacking certain medical specialties. The Health Ministry strategy will therefore seek that emergency clinical hospitals in large medical centres obtain class 1 rating, which would translate in “more substantial” funding from the National Health Insurance House. Hospital classification methodology will come into effect late this month, with hospitals to be given 30 days to draw up an “assessment record” and request a classification.

Also, Cseke Attila announced the Health Ministry’s intention to open an oncology institute in Timisoara. The minister sees oncology as a “priority” field to the Health Ministry.

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