The electronic prescription, the national card and the conversion of some hospitals into foundations are just few of the measures planned by Health authorities for the near future. The representatives of physicians however do not believe in the medical reform.
Physicians will start using the electronic prescription in June this year, and the national health card will be issued as of August. Since June, some hospitals might turn into foundations. These are just part of the measures intended by authorities to reform the Romanian health system, which has been in collapse for years. “By enforcing the electronic prescription and the national health card, we estimate to bring to the system approximately EUR 150-200 M, which were being embezzled in the past,” the president of the National House of Health Insurances (CNAS), Lucian Duta said yesterday, quoted by Mediafax. According to the official, the measure will have no adverse effect for patients and, on the contrary, it will bring advantages, because it will improve the control of the way money is spent. “We will use the IT system to get rid of the problems that affect the market of medicines, which was not under our control,” Duta explained. The CNAS chief added that he submitted to the Health Ministry (MS) a draft Government Decision that will make physicians assume the prescription through which they prescribe a certain medical drug.Lucian Duta also emphasised that, out of the EUR 4 bln which represent the budget of CNAS, EUR 3 bln are allotted for hospitals and the compensation of medicines. “The remaining EUR 1 bln should cover all other expenses – family physicians in ambulatory, laboratories, medical devices and others. A major decision will be probably needed in the system one or two years from now,” he warned.One year ago, on April 1st 2011, MS closed 67 hospitals throughout the country and merged 111 other medical units. Now, medical authorities come with a new measure – experimental, for the time being – meant to reform the sector. State secretary Vasile Cepoi announced yesterday that, starting July this year, some hospitals might be transformed into foundations that will remain under the control of MS and local authorities.On the other hand, the president of the Romanian College of Physicians (CMR) Vasile Astarastoae has lost all faith in the reform of the Health system, in the current global conjecture, as decision makers love neither doctors, nor patients, and only care for their own financial interests. In the context, he spoke about the 2,000 cancer patients that are still waiting to receive the due treatment. “These people can die, because they are deprived of treatment. Where is the responsibility of the state?” the CMR president wondered. Actually, according to Astarastoae, 63,000 people died from unjustified reasons in 2008, as proven by statistics. Furthermore, 11,000 doctors left the country and hospitals may soon be closed because of lack of personnel.The problems experienced by the health system made Romanians be afraid of going to hospital. According to a communiqué issued yesterday by the Romanian Association of International Pharmaceutical Producers (ARPIM), 73.4 pc of Romanians did not go to see a doctor when they needed, in 2010, because of the costs implied by such visit. In Europe, Romania is among the countries that allocate the lowest sums as health expenses per capita, with only EUR 600, against a European average of EUR 1,800.