Archive for the ‘Romania’ Category


Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

The fact that the salary of a doctor was reduced with 25% last year fuels the ever growing negative feelings that Romanian doctors have for the Romanian healthcare system. A study conducted by the “Solidaritatea Sanitara” Federation underlines the fact that 70% of doctors are considering the possibility of a better medical career abroad.

The specialists believe that the medical migration trend will last for about 20 years from now on, a fact that will bring underprivileged countries an acute lack of quality medical services. The profile of those who leave consists of people between 30-39 years with experience in their medical field.

The official statistics show that, in the present, over 6000 doctors of the 40.000 doctors registered in Romania have already left the country. Among doctors, the number of nurses and other medical staff that have left the country in order to work abroad is about 6.800 of 120.000.

The current numbers show us that a medic should take care of over 647 patients, and a nurse should take care of over 200. If the forecast should turn out to be true, Romania will have about 10.200 doctors for 22 million people, which means that 1 doctor will have in his care over 2000 people.

The migration of the specialists

The main reasons that make the medical migration trend so appealing are first of all the money related ones. The Occident pays better, there is more money for a better life for the family needs.

According to the study conducted by the “Solidaritatea Sanitara” Federation, the percent of those determined to work abroad is about 38%. The proportion of those that consider it is at over 50%, but there are still some hesitations fueled by factors such as age and family. The majority of doctors that want to seek a career abroad are between 30 and 39 years old and have been working as doctors for about 10 years.

“I don’t know not even one case regarding a doctor that came back, because he didn’t manage to accommodate himself from a professional point of view”, declared Vasile Astaratoae, the president of the Romanian Medical College. He added that the medics that leave do not consider coming back: “they will come back only if the political powers will invest heavily in the health system, so that the doctors can practice at a western level their profession, and if their salary will be at least 3 times bigger than the average salary in Romania.” According to the data, the doctors that leaved Romania in 2009 chose to practice in countries such as France, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Germany and Belgium.

The study also shows that 30% of the employees in the medical system have already started to make the procedures needed for working abroad.

Even if this doesn’t mean that all 30% of them will leave to work abroad, the figures are still representing a dangerous trend that will most certainly affect the healthcare system.

67% of the persons on which the study was conducted feel a depression in the healthcare system because of the migration.

One of the reasons that motivates 30,4% of the doctors is the prospect of better wages. The final decision depends in the majority of cases on the solutions regarding the internal reasons such as wages, working conditions, future prospects etc.

The story of a Romanian doctor working in Great Britain

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

“Last year, in Romania graduated 6000 med students. In the same year, 7000 medics decided to leave the country in order to work in countries such as Italy, France, Germany, the UK…” declares the president of WONCA World, Prof. Dr. Richard Roberts.

“Romania has a great number of family doctors that are dedicated and well prepared but are frustrated by the fact current laws don’t give them the chance to do enough for their patients”, said Prof. Dr. Richard Roberts.

Among the doctors that opted for working abroad in the last years is also Dr. Larisa Sava.

Larisa Sava is a young doctor and a young mother of two from Sibiu, Romania, who opted for living and working abroad.

“I was afraid that after graduating medicine and after getting a specialty I would get to work at the boutique shop on the corner”

“Why did I choose to leave Romania? Is one of the simplest questions for me to answer; it was a simple decision to make. I didn’t have to think about it that much. After graduating in 2007 I gazed into the future and there was nothing”, said Dr. Larisa Sava, Senior House Officer Pediatrics, Great Britain.

“Six years of med school were hard. Besides the studying I chose to be a mother as well. We struggled financially. In the last year of med school I had to get a part time job as a nurse. One day I had enough and realized that in this country I have no future, no money and no friends in high places”, added Dr. Larisa Sava.

Now Dr. Larisa Sava is working as a medic in a hospital in England in a training position. She chose to become a family doctor, a profession that in Great Britain has a different meaning and responsibility than in Romania. “In Romania everybody that did not have good results in his residency years chose to become a family doctor. Here on the other hand, this career is wanted and competitive. It is the only medical field that requires a preliminary exam.”

“In conclusion, I don’t regret moving to Britain. It is harder and harder for Romanian doctors to start a career in the UK because access to training positions is limited and without training positions it’s hard to progress. But to be honest even if I would not have made it as a doctor, even as working at a nursing home I would have earned about 1000 pounds per month, and life in Britain would still have been better than in Romania”, states Dr. Larisa Sava.

My home is England now. I don’t think I will ever go back to Romania!

Source of the article: Magazine nr.77, 9/2011

Brain Drain of Doctors Worsens in Romania

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

The outflow of doctors heading abroad for more money is continuing to rise, threatening Romania’s already dilapidated health system.

Around 1,700 doctors left Romania to go to work abroad in the first eight months of this year, a figure that is steadily increasing, the Colegiul Medicilor, a professional organization for doctors, said yesterday.

The number, which represent 4% of the total number of doctors in Romania, was established on the basis of certificates issued for good medical practice, which are required for working abroad, Vasile Astarastoae, the president of the organization, said.

By comparison, around 1,100 doctors sought to leave Romania over a similar period last year.

The brain drain is particularly acute in the highest ranks of the profession. Most of those leaving were anesthesiologists and surgeons followed by urologists, orthopedists and pediatricians. The favorite destination was Western Europe, mainly France, Germany and the UK.

Romania already has a shortage of doctors. There are around 1.95 doctors per 1000 people in Romania compared to an EU average of 3.18.

The chronic lack of specialists hampers medical activities and threatens the safety of patients and doctors alike. To many doctors say they work to the point of exhaustion.

“The small salaries and the extremely difficult conditions in which doctor work have prompted a considerable number to leave the country,” Vasile Astarastoae added.

Romania has been struggling to reform its public health sector, which has fallen into growing chaos as o result of chronic underinvestment. Hospitals around the country are understaffed and are short of specialists and modern medical equipment. Low pay in the health sector and the government’s unwillingness to carry out changes, have encouraged the exodus of doctors and nurses.

The average salary of a junior doctor is around 300Euro/ month and under government austerity plans, wages are being cut by a quarter. A doctor who gets work in Britain, for example, may expect to earn many times that figure.

Romania spends less on healthcare as a percentage of the budget than any other country in the European Union. Last year, Bucharest spent only around 4.5% of its GDP on healthcare, almost half the EU average.

By contrast, Britain spent only 6.9%, and France spent 9.4% of its GDP on health, followed closely by Norway and Canada, according to a recent OECD report.

Unsurprisingly, Romania’s healthcare system is considered one of the worst in Europe. Last year it ranked last among 33 countries, according to the European Healthcare Consumer Index.

Specialist Doctors on the verge of extinction

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

“Specialist Doctors did not receive their money from the National Health Insurance Agency (CNAS) since the month of May, in these conditions they will no longer be able to continue their activity”, underlines a press release form 9th of August, stated by the Alliance for Health in Romania (APSR).

“In two years since the program SIUI was implemented – instrument that accounts for the medical services delivered by the doctors and the value of payments to doctors – it demonstrated that it has many errors and especially faces much resistance from the County Health Insurance Agency (CJAS), maintenance and updating is performed inadequate and the database is obsolete.

These problems lead to the destruction of the specialty ambulatory, when the normality of the situation would represent helping them to diversify and thus lead to lower costs and an efficient management of funds “, sais Cristian Hotoboc, the president of the Alliance for Health in Romania.

According to the press release, the specialists doctors that signed the contract with CNAS, based on which they have to be paid, is made ambiguous, because there is no legal way to prosecute the counterparty on its contractual obligations.

Also, Dr. Cosmin Alexandrescu, Vice President of ASPR, warns of the actual danger of the disappearance of the specialty ambulatory. “Simultaneously, we find the unreasonable delay of payments from the Health Insurance Agency – the last payments made were in the month of May – and, respectively, the increase by 50 times the royalties required by the PMB for the spaces in which doctors have their medical practices.

Probably, the position on the market is wanted only for the big health care chains, which have a greater capacity for negotiations and are more easily influenced by the Health Insurance Agency.”

Source of the article: “”- magazine nr.76 7-8/


Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

The “cult of the doctors” was always concerned about the beauty of the human body…

Step by step it’s fading, under our indifferent eyes, the cult with a history of thousands of years. The medical practice implied keeping the state of health, without directives and reforms from any authority, only trough self-knowing and under the old Latin saying: “Mens sana in corpore sano”

Correspondingly, the “cult of the digestive tract” is gaining more and more ground in the ranks of all Romanians, claiming victims of all ages. Thus, the grill has become a national sport, accompanied by the beer, and this “Sport” is imposed by travel agencies to seduce tourists.

Interesting enough is the fact that beer drinking and grilling has nothing to do with the Romanian tradition…

Looking at the city it is sad and frightening. The children are fat, the adults are fat, the old are fat, and they are struggling to carry their heavy mutilated bodies by all the extra fat, forcing their joints to carry the extra load.

So what is to be done?

It is evident to see that the cause of the population’s obesity is not the financial crisis, high unemployment or the government. – it is in fact the uncontrolled and unbalanced alimentation.

Cardiovascular diseases – myocardial infraction, stroke, hypertension – have as the primordial factor obesity. Just to make things clear… is it all in the hands of the doctor? Where is the self-responsibility that every person should have for his body, his health and of course his own children.

Recently I met a colleague and his wife that moved in the USA 30 years ago. After the natural joy of meeting each-other he asked me if I am suffering, as he noticed that I lost weight. They on the other hand have added a surplus of extra pounds, despite of diets. I told them that, thank God, I lost 15 kg only trough self-control, by taking long walks. I also told them that the only recipe is your own will.

I don’t know if they believed me, but in that moment I felt like a doctor.

Dr. Sebastian Nicolau

Doctors and Society

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

From the eyes of Doctor Dan Pahontu

“I wouldn’t have written the following text if in the last few days the media would not have published an article that calls into question the moral integrity and professionalism of the whole social body – that of doctors, occurring in a context in which the media’s central debating alleged failure on all sides of a respectable medical personality in its nineties.

You don’t have to be too keen to notice that the mass media’s frequent articles and discussions in print or audio-video format depict the “guild of doctors” as the source of the most unpleasant problems of society. Romanian doctors have become scapegoats. He either demands bribes, leaps into medical negligence or malpractice.

Far From my intention in any way is to excuse the brutality, incompetence or, God forbid, criminal acts that must be firmly charged by press and society. Maybe not accidental is the interest of young performance capable people in medicine than it was let’s say 20 years ago. WHAT KIND OF DOCTORS AND HEALTH CARE SYSTEM WILL ENSURE OUR HEALTH IS AN ISSUE THAT I THINK WE SHOULD WORRY ABOUT MORE AND MORE. IT IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE SOCIETY AT LARGE AS WELL AS OUR DECISION MAKERS.

It is hard not to think about the young doctors who, after six hard years of college, after five, six or seven years of residency, have a salary of 520 Lei per month (about 125Euro/month). They are often married!!!

There is no social support. I remember the times when doctors, after being assigned a job, they would also get a home and a pay comparable with other budgeted positions.
Seems as even the respect from peers was different, and this despite the stubbornness with which most of them remain in their country to work in conditions rightly described MISERABLE, in a HEALTH SYSTEM THAT FAILS TO BE MENDED BY JOURNALISM. But how can we speak of respect when the current pension system is an injustice that I would not hesitate to qualify as cynical towards our fellow retirees. But that is another story.

Of course, the blame for this situation belongs to a large extent to doctors and their organizations. Medical envy, as it’s easily seen in newspapers and on television, breeds monsters.

I finish this article with hope for better times in which measure and respect can govern the Romanian society as well as the Romanian health-care system.”


Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

I don’t believe that in Romania there exists a more humiliated professional class than that of the doctors. Underpaid, poorly equipped, the media’s favorite targets, always too few and lately those who work in healthcare have become also targets of serious physical violence.

The case of the stretcher bearer stabbed in Cluj is not an isolated incident. We had such cases in many hospitals in the country, including the ambulatory University Hospital in Bucharest. The life of ambulance drivers and of the medical staff is now seen as an extreme sport and most aggressions they are subjected to are no longer even news.

Doctors have to face the worst from their patients. Why? Because they represent the first line of Romania’s healthcare system, a system full of holes that often brings out the pain, despair, frustration and anger from the patients.

It is normal to get angry when you have to wait too much for the Ambulance, consultation or surgery, when the procedures are too complicated or you’re being transferred back and forth between wards and hospitals. It is frustrating to know that there are no drugs and that you have to bring your own cotton from home.

But health professionals are the last to blame! On the contrary, they are also victims of the system. Much is expected from understaffed hospitals in which doctors have to follow procedures invented by authorities that have little or no idea what happens in an emergency receiving unit.

Mistakes are made most often because the medical staff is overworked, the equipment used is outdated and the medical team is understaffed. Doctors are not happy about taking bribes. It is humiliating for de receiver as well. Bribes are the result of small wages that are not direct proportional with the huge work responsibility.

For a lot of doctors in Romania “self-exile” is the solution for the torment and humiliation. We can’t blame them! The prospect of better wages, state of the art equipment and of course respect makes more and more doctors to choose a medical career abroad.


Source of the article here:

Why do the Italians and Spaniards beat thousands of miles in order to receive medical treatment in Romania?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

In the past years, medical tourism achieved such a magnitude that in Romania there are entire hotels just for foreigners that come here for medical treatment.

WHY? Because prices in Romania are 5 or 6 times lower in Romania then in other UE countries and because a lot of Romanian doctors have gained notoriety. The most sought after are the dentists and the recovery centers.

At a dentist from Gherla, Cluj, come more and more patients from Italy. The reason is simple, the price which here is 80% cheaper than in the Italian Peninsula.

Franco and Cinzia are from Livorno and prefer to travel 1000km in order to resolve their dental problems. In Romania this costs around 2000 Euro. Back in Italy prices can reach 12000Euro.

A happy customer brings future customers. Therefore a Italian saw a opportunity and bought a entire hotel in the city, that now is full of Italians that come in Romania for treatment. He even has a website with a list of top dentists.

At Targu Mures you can see the same trends. A recovery clinic has mostly foreign patients. Among the patients there is also Robert Fazakas, Hungary’s world champion at throwing the disc.

Most of the patients come from Hungary, Italy and Spain.

Source of the article here:


Tuesday, October 25th, 2011


Whether it is about jobs for people with higher education, or job offers in the technical field, the Romanian people benefit from a high number of jobs in the EU countries where they will be form 3-5 times better paid than in Romania.

One of the most sought after field of occupation, with high number of job vacancies, is the medical field. As in Romania a medical resident receives no more than 300Euro / month salary, more and more doctors are considering the opportunity of a medical career in countries like France, Germany, Belgium and Italy where wages are much higher and working conditions are up to date to the 21 century.

As more and more people understand the opportunity that a medical diploma offers, more and more people sign up to study medicine with the soul intention of getting the diploma and then moving to Western-Europe.

As Romanian universities are overflowed by medical students with the intention to leave Romania as soon as they finish their studies, more and more West-Europeans such as French students come to Romania in order to study here medicine, not because our universities are better, just because it is easier to obtain a medical diploma here.

In 4 years Romania will have 6 new university hospitals. See where!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

The Romanian government approved the Memorandum on the construction of 6 new regional emergency hospitals through a public-private partnership proposal from the Ministry of Health.

The six university hospitals will be built in Cluj, Craiova, Iasi, Targul-Mures, Timisoara and Bucharest. The investment in the 6 miedical units amounts to about 1.5 billion Euro.
The Ministry of Health will be responsable with the alocation of the land on which the hospitals will be built on and the eligable companies will be responsable with the funding for the builds.

The construction of the 6 hospitals will take about 4 years and the build will start in about 14-16 months, says the Ministry of Health.

First, the Ministry of Health will require the passage of public land from the counties / municipalities and county councils administration / local public and state administration to the Ministry of Health. Of the 6 fields, only the one in Bucharest is in public ownership and administration of the Ministry of State, all others will be transferred.

Most important, although the hospitals will be built with private funds, it will operate under public rules, so patients will receive the same treatment as assured by the social health insurance policy. – Cseke Attila.

The new regional emergency hospitals will be designed for universities to provide emergency medical conditions, mainly for cases requiring a multidisciplinary approach. The Ministry of Health aims to create 6 compact emergency units, with full autonomy and full functionality ( investigation, diagnosis and treatment), enabling efficient medical service, reducing costs and time required for diagnosis.

“It will be one of the most important investment projects in medical infrastructure over the past 30 years, with big possibilities of success because the funding will not be linked to the state budget and the management will be private. We prioritise the construction of regional hospitals in Cluj and Iasi. In these two centers with a long tradition in medicine are the biggest problems in terms of medical infrastructure. For example, in Cluj-Napoca, the County Emergency Hospital operates in 25 pavilions, 16 of which were built in 1902, and the rest from 1930-1977. In Iasi is the same situation. “Sf. Spiridon” Emergency Clinical Hospital is working in 13 buildings with pavilions built since 1895, the newest construction dates in 1980.” Attila Cseke.

ÃŽn 4 ani vom avea 6 noi spitale universitare. Vezi unde!

Guvernul a aprobat Memorandumul privind demararea construcției a 6 spitale regionale de urgență prin parteneriat public-privat la propunerea Ministerului Sănătății. Cele 6 spitale universitare vor fi construite la Cluj, Craiova, Iași, Târgu-Mureș, Timișoara și București. Investiția în cele 6 unități sanitare se ridică la 1,5 miliarde de Euro.

Ministerul Sănătății va participa în acest parteneriat cu terenurile pe care se vor construi spitalele, iar companiile eligibile cu partea de finanțare. Parteneriatele sunt gândite pe aproximativ 30 de ani.

Construcția celor 6 spitale va dura aproximativ 4 ani și va fi demarată în 14-16 luni estimează Ministerul Sănătății.

În prima etapă, Ministerul Sănătăţii va solicita trecerea terenurilor din domeniul public al judeţelor/localităţilor şi administrarea consiliilor judeţene/locale în domeniul public al statului şi administrarea Ministerului Sănătăţii, prin hotărâri ale consiliilor judeţene/locale. Din cele 6 terenuri, doar cel din Bucureşti este în proprietatea publică a statului şi în administrarea ministerului, toate celelalte urmând a fi transferate. Urmează apoi şi ceilalţi paşi pentru studiile de prefezabilitate sau fundamentare.

“Foarte important, chiar dacă spitalul va fi construit cu fonduri private, acesta va funcţiona în regim public, pacienţii beneficiind de tratament în acelaşi sistem al asigurărilor publice de sănătate ca în prezent, într-un spital public”, a explicat Cseke Attila.

Noile spitale regionale de urgenţă vor fi gândite ca centre universitare care să asigure condiţii de asistenţă medicală de urgenţă, în principal pentru cazurile care necesită o abordare multidisciplinară.

Ministerului Sănătăţii ţinteşte crearea a 6 unităţi compacte, autonome, de urgenţă, cu funcţionalitate integrală (investigaţii, diagnostic şi tratament), care să permită eficientizarea serviciului medical, prin reducerea timpului necesar şi a costurilor pentru stabilirea diagnosticului.

“Va fi unul dintre cele mai importante proiecte de investiţii în infrastructură spitalicească din ultimii 30 de ani care are şanse reale de realizare deoarece finanţarea nu va avea legătură cu bugetul statului, iar managementul va fi privat. Avem ca prioritate construcţia spitalelor regionale din Cluj şi Iaşi. În aceste două centre cu tradiţie în medicină există cele mai mari probleme în ceea ce priveşte infrastructura spitalicească. De exemplu, în Cluj–Napoca, Spitalul Clinic Judeţean de Urgenţă îşi desfăşoară activitatea în 25 pavilioane, 16 dintre acestea fiind construite în 1902, iar restul între anii 1930 -1977. Singura clădire mai nouă, dacă o putem numi aşa este cea care în care funcţionează UPU şi care datează din 2005. La Iaşi există aceeaşi situaţie. Spitalul Clinic Judeţean de Urgenţă “Sf. Spiridon” funcţionează în 13 clădiri care au pavilioane construite începând cu anii 1895, cele mai noi construcţii fiind din 1980. Aici există şi 2 clădiri folosite de spital care au fost construite în 1732, respectiv 1757”, a mai declarat Cseke Attila.

Source of the article here:–vezi-unde_878731.html