09/06 2012


USTDA Supports Health Telecommunications in Romania

September 6, 2012 – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a grant to the Romanian Ministry of Health (MOH) for the deployment and implementation of health telecommunications and telemedicine solutions in the field of primary care in rural and isolated areas. The $422,786 grant will support the development of a feasibility study on possible improvements in primary and specialist health care delivery in rural Romania. The feasibility study will be conducted by International Development and Technical Assistance LLC and will include the evaluation of the actual emergency care telemedicine network as well as the pilot project in primary care telemedicine implemented this year in 10 family practitioners’ clinics in the Delta area connecting them to the County hospital of that area based at Tulcea.

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Romanian Under-Secretary of State for Health Dr. Raed Arafat, left and Deputy Chief of Mission Duane Butcher signing the grant awarded to the Romanian Ministry of Health for the deployment and implementation of health telecommunications and telemedicine.

“The grant agreement to be signed today between the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the Romanian Ministry of Health is an example of the U.S. government’s commitment to working with Romania to further develop a key area of the country’s infrastructure — public health,” stated U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Duane Butcher.

“Currently, Romania has a national telemedicine system connecting ambulances and medical data reception centers. At the same time, over 100 hospital emergency units are connected to the three medical data reception centers. The third such center to open after those in Targu Mures and Bucharest is being tested now in Iasi. The telemedicine system has developed very good in emergency medical assistance, Romania is becoming a model in this regard. But telemedicine is not employable just for emergency assistance; it can also be used in primary medical assistance and in other fields such as radiology. This year we succeeded in implementing a pilot project in the Danube Delta region which connects 10 family practitioners’ clinics with the Emergency County Hospital in Tulcea. An evaluation of this project and a study of the needs associated with implementing telemedicine in providing primary medical care in rural and isolated areas are needed. The U.S. Government support in conducting an expert analysis of the telemedicine system in Romania and of its needs is more than welcome. It will help us make some decisions on a strategy of development for the telemedicine system in our country based on well analyzed data,” said Raed Arafat, Under Secretary of State in the Romanian Ministry of Health.

Romania is in the process of implementing an integrated health information system, which includes the introduction of a health card, electronic medical records, and electronic prescriptions. The European Union has committed to provide funding and support for the Romanian healthcare sector, but requires feasibility studies for implementation financing consideration. This study will not only help Romania implement these changes, but will offer the opportunity of introducing U.S. technologies and services on the Romanian market.

There is a major void in healthcare availability for rural Romanians, who comprise 50% of the country’s population. The current pilot telemedicine project in Tulcea, Romania, is making strides to address this issue. The USTDA-supported feasibility study will develop an implementation plan to roll this system out to other rural areas in other regions of Romania, with the ultimate goal of full national implementation.

The grant was signed at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania. The Deputy Chief of Mission, Duane Butcher signed on behalf of USTDA and Under-Secretary of State for Health Dr. Raed Arafat signed on behalf of the Romanian MOH.

Read more at United States of America Embassy to Romania

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.

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