Prime Minister Viorica Dancila held a meeting on Monday with representatives of the World Bank in New York, during her working visit to the United States, at the end of which was signed the Loan Agreement aimed at increasing the citizens’ access to public primary health care services and at promoting preventive medical services, especially in less developed areas, worth 500 million euros.
According to a Government press release, the program also aims to increase access to medical services provided by family physicians and to improve the efficiency of spending in the health sector.
The source mentioned that the loan agreement worth 500 million euros was signed on behalf of Romania by the Minister of Public Finance, Eugen Teodorovici, and on behalf of the World Bank by Tatiana Proskuryakova, country manager for Romania and Hungary.
“It is a program that will benefit the patients, as it will increase the funding for family and community medicine, including by endowing the medical practices with advanced equipment, as well as by training the medical staff in primary health care. Thus, the citizens from isolated or hard-to-reach areas will have easier access to health services, to a diagnosis established in the early phase, to the correct treatment, thus, to better care,” Prime Minister Dancila stressed as quoted in the statement.
The World Bank Country Manager for Romania and Hungary, Tatiana Proskuryakova, stressed that despite the progress made in the field of health care in Romania “the rate of deaths that could be prevented by access to medical treatment is among the highest in the EU, in particular for the poorest population, and now there is the opportunity to improve these results.
We appreciate the efforts made by the current Government, as well as the commitment made to provide a more balanced and integrated health system, added the World Bank official.
The program based on health outcomes, implemented for the first time in Romania, will encourage this field to focus more on the patient, according to the release.
The press release also mentions that the program includes three areas of results: improving coverage of primary health care services for the under-served population, strengthening community health care and expanding the basic services package for the primary care of the uninsured vulnerable people; reorienting the medical system, centered on the hospital, towards an efficient primary health care, by diversifying the package of primary health care services and improving the payment mechanisms.
There will also be implemented a de minimis aid scheme for family medicine practices. The program also aims to increase the efficiency of the expenditures in the health sector by addressing the critical aspects related to costs.
According to the release, the loan was approved at the World Bank Group’s Board of Directors meeting held on September 17 in Washington, DC. It will fund the government program, attract EU funding for the implementation of the activities required for the proposed indicators and provide technical assistance. The loan was negotiated by the World Bank and the Ministry of Public Finance of Romania within the framework of the Country Strategic Partnership 2019 – 2023.