The recent news that Romania’s Health Ministry will cease offering funding to private hospitals caused plenty of debate, with most private hospitals arguing against the measure. The new measure will be enforced from the beginning of 2013.
Warga Enayati, the founder of Regina Maria, says 2,500 births take place a year in the group’s maternity wards and the lack of state funding will affect patients, as the state now covers 20 percent of the cost of the birth procedure.
The National Health Insurance House allots some EUR 45 million to private hospitals every year, out of a total of EUR 1.6 billion dedicated to hospitals in general. The EUR 45 million will be re- allotted to intensive care programs, trauma, heart failure, and stroke care.
On the other hand, the new measure pleases public hospitals, whose representatives say private hospitals should develop using private money and none of the private hospitals deal with complicated cases, most of them send the patients back to the state hospitals. “In order to avoid financing issues, private hospitals should have a contract with large public hospitals, to cover more complicated cases, which have high costs,” said doctor Mircea Beuran, chief of surgery with the Floreasca Emergency Hospital.
Romanian Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu used some strong wording when referring to private hospitals. He said that those who develop a private healthcare business should not do it using public money and private hospital managers should think of their investments a coming from their own resources, not what they steal from the state or receive via trading influence,” said the Minister.
However, it does not seem to be a done deal. VicePM Liviu Dragnea said these measures have not been yet debated within the Government, and that the Health Minister should not have made an announcement.
The private healthcare system has been developing in Romania in recent years, to the detriment of the public service. Many companies prefer to offer their employees private health insurance, while still paying the due health contribution for the state system, which is included in employees’ income taxes.