Romania celebrated the patients’ week
Our member, the Romanian Coalition of Patient Organisations for Chronic Diseases (COPAC) held for the sixth time,the Romanian “Patients Week” in Bucharest from 17 to 24 April 2015. Every year our Romanian member dedicates a one week event to its own membership to discuss patients’ rights.
150 patient representatives, members of the Romanian coalition COPAC discussed key topics such as access to care, discrimination, and public procurement of medicines. Representatives from the Health Ministry, the National Health Insurance funds and the pharmaceutical industry were also present on the panel.
The meeting was an opportunity to take stock of the Romanian patients’ situation in relation to healthcare access. “We witness some progress”, said Radu Ganescu, President from COPAC. “The waiting lists are shorter. But the system still isn’t fit to respond to patients’ needs. There is a need for immediate action, as time is a crucial factor for patients”.
The issue of parallel trading was central to the debate. The pricing policy imposed by the government means that the medicines are noticeably cheaper in Romania. However, this creates a situation whereby the drugs are sold abroad and are regularly out of stock and unavailable for Romanian patients. The government disposes of alert mechanisms, but these cannot be resorted to continuously.
The last of our series of six workshops on cross-border healthcare organised by EPF took place within this framework of the Romanian patients’ week. Participants generally welcomed the provisions offered by the Directive, but said they should focus their efforts on improving the situation in Romania. “We shouldn’t have to go abroad in the first place”, said Radu Ganescu.
Contact: Camille Bullot, Membership Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org.