Palliative care in Romania for 2019


After almost 28 years since the establishment of the first specialized palliative care services in Romania, the premises for the development of palliative care for patients with progressive or incurable chronic diseases are created: there is a legal framework for setting up and authorizing services, specific essential medication is available, there are forms of professional training of the personnel in the field of palliation and there are functional services specialized in different care environments (in hospitalization, in ambulatory or day centres, at home). However, the degree of coverage of the estimated need for palliative care is below 12% of the estimated need. There are still many bureaucratic barriers in the implementation of the legislation, which impede the implementation of changes.

The underfunding of the health system and the allocation of funds especially for curative medicine make it difficult to set up new services, especially in a subject like palliation, still considered as new, although over time such new services could prove a more judicious use of the funds available for quality of care and satisfaction of patients. With the 122 specialized palliative services for adults and 12 paediatric patients, Romania is in the lower half of the ranking of the investigated countries in EU, as a number of services per 100,000 inhabitants.

Keywords: palliative care services in Romania, the need for palliative care, National Palliative Care Program