Romania will invest 400 million euros in digitalization projects in the healthcare system, less than half what Poland invests(analysis)

Carmen Radu aug. 16, 2021 0 comentarii
inovatie, green, verde, digital

Romania is planning to invest €400 million in projects to digitalize the healthcare system using funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), according to representatives of Horvath, an international management consulting company.

“This amount is less than half of the budget allocated by Poland, another beneficiary of the PNRR, which has planned investments of one billion euros in digitalization of the healthcare system. Romania has decided that of the total €29.2 billion received from the European Union through the NRRP, €2.45 billion will be directed to the healthcare sector. This budget is one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe for the health sector,” reads the press release quoted by Agerpres.

Horvath’s study, carried out in the first part of this year, looks at the use of funds from the NRRP in the health system in six European countries: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Croatia.

According to the source, Romania has declared its intention that a significant part of the €2.45 billion will be allocated to health, i.e. €1.9 billion, should go towards infrastructure renewal, through projects such as the modernization of existing hospitals and the construction of new ones, as well as the purchase of modern medical equipment.

In terms of digitalization of the healthcare system, Romania is preparing projects to strengthen telemedicine, improve the digital infrastructure of public health units, mobile patient monitoring systems and technical assistance for the development and integration of digital health solutions. By comparison, Poland is investing more than twice the amount of our country’s budget in advanced projects such as Artificial Intelligence for medical analysis and diagnosis.

“Digitalization is a vital component for modernizing the healthcare system. Investments in this segment are very important, especially when we consider that healthcare in Central and Eastern Europe is at a much lower level of development compared to the rest of the EU member states. For example, Eurostat data from 2018 shows that mortality from preventable or treatable diseases is 70% higher in countries like Romania and Hungary than the EU average. Among our neighbors, the Czech Republic had the lowest mortality rate in 2018, which was only 9% above the European average, with 297 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. Therefore, Romania needs to put in place a coherent strategy whereby its generous health budget is properly distributed. It is clear that the local health system needs substantial investment, but the implementation of the funds allocated through the NRRP will certainly be a challenge. Romania’s absorption rate of EU funds is 33% for the 2014-2020 period, the second lowest in Eastern Europe after Croatia. At the opposite pole is Poland with 45% for the same period”, explained Constantin Pelehra, Horvath’s representative.

Also, healthcare spending adjusted for purchasing power of the population placed Romania last among the six countries analysed in Horvath’s research, despite a 45% increase between 2015 and 2018. Thus, our country spent €1,210 per capita in 2018, while the Czech Republic spent €2,280 per capita in the same year. Slovakia, Hungary and Poland each reported over €1,510 per capita, while the EU average was €3,080 per capita.

Romania is the only one of the six countries included in the Horvath analysis that plans to use the total grants and loans accessible through the NRRP, reaching €29.2 billion. The Czech Republic will get €7.1 billion through the NRRP, Hungary is expected to get €7.2 billion and Slovakia €6.6 billion, and none of these countries will borrow.

Croatia, which will get €6.5 billion, and Poland, which will access €36 billion, have defined their plans with two-thirds grants and one-third loans. The national plans of Croatia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have already been approved by the European Commission. Poland and Romania are awaiting approval, and the assessment for Hungary is currently on hold.

“Our study aimed to compare the performance of health systems in Central and Eastern Europe and to identify the level and targets of health funding in the NPRR and how they contribute to closing the performance gap. The financing strategy in the NPRP is formulated to contribute to narrowing the performance gap of health systems in Central and Eastern Europe compared to Western countries. The extent to which this will be achieved depends on the successful definition and implementation of the project portfolio”, concluded Constantin Pelehra.

Translation: Service For Life S.R.L.

Sursa foto: Frames

Lasă un răspuns

Adresa ta de email nu va fi publicată. Câmpurile obligatorii sunt marcate cu *