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Romania continues to contribute the lowest spend on healthcare in the EU

This year, it was announced that Romania is set to overhaul its outdated healthcare model and place significant investment within its ongoing services. ...

Catherine Sturman
|Dec 8|magazine7 min read

This year, it was announced that Romania is set to overhaul its outdated healthcare model and place significant investment within its ongoing services. However, the country continues to contribute the lowest spend on healthcare within the European Union (EU), with an expenditure of €388 per inhabitant, as reported by Eurostat.

At present, Sweden, Germany, France and the Netherlands have adopted the highest healthcare expenditure relative to GDP amongst the EU member states. Germany in particular adopted a healthcare expenditure of €321bn in 2014, followed swiftly by France and the United Kingdom.

With increasing healthcare costs, staff shortages and mortality rates which are lower than the rest of Europe, the country faces a number of challenges. Many healthcare professionals have voiced a lack of progression, opportunity or pay as drivers to leave. Working conditions have also been stated to be lower than what has become standardised in EU countries, leading to care services which are below expectations.

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Consequently, Romania is currently witnessing a significant shortage of medical professionals, who are choosing to relocate areas such as Germany, Britain or France, leaving up to a third of positions remaining vacant in their home country. This has led to a slight increase in pay for medical professionals, but the industry has a long way to go in attracting and retaining its local talent.

Additionally, expenditure related to preventative care remains low for Romania, leading to a sharp rise in deaths which could have been prevented. In the findings by Eurostat, it has been stated that “10 EU Member States reported less than €100 of long-term care expenditure per inhabitant in 2014, with three of these — Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria recording average levels of expenditure that were less than €10 per inhabitant.”

Despite such challenges, the political climate in the country continues to create barriers and added complexities for the healthcare industry. From recruitment, to added pay, political beaucracy remains an issue for the country. With plans to transform its healthcare system, it is hoped that such issues will be addressed, and quickly.