By Raluca Șoaita, founder of TESSERACT ARCHITECTURE
There is no surprise that the recent pandemic has brutally exposed the vulnerabilities of the medical system and this happened not only in Romania, but even in the Western countries, where in some cases the health systems collapsed.
In Romania, the real problem – which added even more pressure on the system – is that we do not even have enough medical infrastructure and medical staff for all the health problems our population faces, so that in some cases we can`t treat specific diseases locally.
This is the alarming case of oncology, for in many of Romania`s regions cancer patients need to travel to a large city or even abroad in order to receive care. In Romanian hospitals that do treat cancer, we can`t even discuss about proper care, considering that these hospitals are up to 100 years old, they are long overdue and lack the necessary proper equipment. There are also extremely limited options across the country where cancer patients can receive A to Z care.
With 10% incidence of the neurology and psychiatric diseases in the general population and only few private investments that try to cover this need, the segment of neurology is also still underdeveloped in Romania and it`s worth the attention of decision – makers, considering the times we live in and the increasing prevalence of these affections.
There are also 3 segments we have identified that are totally uncovered in Romania: palliative care, geriatrics and medical recovery. With little private palliative care unit in Romania (most of them operated by NGOs), Romanians with serious, complex and sometimes terminal illness are doomed to die. This is similar in the case of old population or of those who need medical recovery after a serious accident or a complex surgery.
Beyond the need for financing, our experience shows that there is a key pillar missing from the public strategies: clear, serious and transparent studies that can reveal today`s population real needs. These are extremely practical instruments that can reflect the current necessities of Romanian patients and will help healthcare decision – makers to project realistic estimations and better allocate the funding in the system.
Architect Raluca Șoaita is the Founder of TESSERACT ARCHITECTURE, the single architecture studio specialized in the healthcare sector in Romania and one of the very few in Central & Eastern Europe. She dedicated the last 15 years to thorough study of this sector and is the lead architect of two large regional hospitals in Sibiu and Focsani, Marie Curie – The First Children’s National Hospital for Cancer, Serious Illnesses and Trauma Hospitals, the first modular hospitals in Romania – a total of more than 700.000 sqm of hospital and medical private and public clinics.