Raed Arafat: An explosion of organ donors in Romania

The case of a young man that needs a lung transplant but the financing for it has not been approved because the funds were spent on a bone marrow transplant, and the patient was asked to wait for the budget for treatment abroad to be hiked, was presented.Present at the talk-show, Prof. Dr. Irinel Popescu, the head of the Fundeni Clinic for Surgery and Liver Transplant in Bucharest, stated that one has to understand “the position of the financier that has to distribute the budget to cover the health system’s numerous needs and the fact that Romania is not the only country that resorts to a certain quantification of the number of surgeries in relation to the prognosis and that earmarks a certain sum of money on the basis of this prognosis.” Popescu gave New Zealand as an example, a country that, during the period in which it did not have a transplant programme, sent the patients to Australia and was financing six surgeries per year, the surgeries surpassing that number being postponed for a different year. Contacted by phone, Health Ministry Secretary of State Raed Arafat was asked how the money for transplants was spent. “The fact that this happened is a fortunate case because the number of donors has grown. After the order through which the transplant sequencers were nominated at the intensive care wards and the organization meant to recognize patients that are potential donors was improved, we had an explosion of donors, which is a positive thing. Now we have to adapt the financing to this explosion, because nobody expected this, I’ll be honest,” Arafat said, adding that he knows from “promises” made by the Health Minister himself that the funds for transplants will be hike during the budget rectification in order to handle the hike in the number of donors.

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