Romania’s healthcare system is seriously ill. A combination of poverty, corruption and the remnants of communism, exacerbated by the mass amounts of doctors moving abroad after the country joined the European Union in 2007, has led to a system that leaves patients in dire straits.
It was the middle of the night when Roxana Popescu’s phone woke her. Her aunt on the other side of the line sounded concerned. “She told me she was at the Bucharest University Hospital with my 26-year-old cousin, Catalin,” Popescu says. “He was in a coma.” A long story preceded this alarming and undesirable phone call – a story that, in many ways, demonstrates what is wrong with Romania’s healthcare system, and in a broader sense mirrors what is happening in a society that is attempting to liberate itself from its communist past.
September 1, 2018 -