Summary Market Entry Current Market Trends Main Competitors
Procurement & Tenders
Population: 19.6 million
GDP: $211.8 billion (2017)
GDP per capita: $10 thousand (2017)
Currency: Romanian New “LEU” (RON)
Healthcare in Romania is dominated by the public sector, which owns most of the hospitals and provides national health insurance to almost all Romanian citizens. Healthcare expenditure was estimated at 4% of GDP in 2016, well below the 7.1% of GDP as EU countries average.
The public healthcare system includes national health insurance, covering almost all Romanian citizens, as well as a growing and parallel network of private healthcare. According to the new Government Program 2018-2020, the Ministry of Health is committed to the citizen (patient) and not the medical system, the end goal being that the individual does not move for a quality medical act, but the system is built as close as possible to the citizen (patient). There are additional opportunities in recent approved projects by the Government of Romania in line with the National Health Strategy 2014-2020, referring to the two important projects: construction of 8 regional hospitals and 1 republican one, and improving health system quality and efficiency.
The market for medical devices, dental products and high-tech diagnostic imaging equipment in Romania has excellent prospects for growth. The medical equipment market will continue to grow in the coming years as a result of increased demand, the development of local production, and the need to meet European quality standards and growing imports.
U.S. companies wishing to enter the Romanian market must refer to the European Union legislation concerning the registration, marketing and safety standards required throughout EU. In addition, it is recommended to check the specific national legislation that might apply. It is advised to have a local distribution partner. The Romanian market will most likely remain heavily reliant on imports, which are expected to increase due to insufficient high-tech equipment and the acute need for renovation within hospitals.
Current Market Trends
The national allocated budget for healthcare in 2018 is US$ 8.44 billion (4.6 % of GDP), representing an increase of 15.5% compared to 2017 (4.15% of GDP).
The main objectives are:
Romanian market growth was driven by macroeconomic improvement, and it is forecasted to continue its growth by a 3.4% annual rate until 2019. The Romanian healthcare industry has high growth potential and there are sufficient human resources providing opportunities for local or foreign investors.
The Romanian pharmaceutical market increased by 10.6% last year, to RON 12.9 billion (EUR 2.8 billion), according to data provided by market research company Cegedim. Romania's pharmaceutical policies will continue to pose challenges to multinational pharmaceutical firms, leading to negative consequences for patient access to medicines. The revision of medicine prices, due to come into force on April 1, 2017, will exacerbate the withdrawal of medicines from the market. Moreover, revenues in other European markets may be impacted by the potential for pharmaceutical wholesalers exploiting parallel trade opportunities. According to BMI, Romania will remain one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical markets among EU member states; however, the risks posed by these regulatory challenges will reduce appetite for increased market exposure.
Currently, over 100 medical equipment companies are active in the Romanian market, with the most important distributors coming from the US, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, China, Turkey and Switzerland. Among them are big names such as GE Healthcare, Medtronic, Philips, Varian, Johnson & Johnson, Olympus, Nihon Kohden, Greiner, Becton Dickinson, Beckman Coulter, Bioomerieux, Trinity Biotech and Oxoid.
In line with the National Health Strategy 2014-2020 in Romania, the overall objective in the health sector is to facilitate access to better and safer healthcare for the general population with particular emphasis on vulnerable groups. Four specific priorities and areas of intervention have been identified, namely:
Romania has one of the highest hospitalization rates in Europe and reforms aim to decrease the use of hospital services and enhance the role of alternative types of care. In addition, the Ministry of Health intends to provide funding for better medical equipment in primary care locations. The growth of the private hospital market over the next five years is also likely to boost spending, as demand for private healthcare grows with improvements in economic growth and income.
The ongoing health project will support the 2014–2020 National Health Strategy focusing on three main areas/components:
First tenders for this health project were launched during spring of 2016 and the following ones are forecasted to be launched by September 2016.
There are no restrictions on the sales and import of new and refurbished medical devices in Romania. The medical equipment must meet the European Certification requirements and have the CE mark. Duties and taxes are applicable at the same rates to both new and refurbished equipment. The key end-user groups for the refurbished category are private hospitals, clinics and specialized ambulatory care segments.
According to Lexology, “Only the cost of medicines included in the list of international common denominations corresponding to medicines that benefit insured persons, either with or without personal contribution, based on prescription, in the national health insurance system, as well as common international denominations corresponding to medicines granted in national health programs, may be reimbursed.”
The Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Authority administer the reimbursement of medicinal product costs, and reimbursement costs are actually covered by the National Health Insurance Fund.
The list is put together by the agency and is updated annually. It is then approved by way of a government decision.
As described in Life sciences: product regulation and liability in Romania, “In order to have a medicine listed, solicitants must file a request with the agency, accompanied by the relevant documentation provided in Ministry of Health Order 861/2014, as further amended. An approval or rejection must be issued by the agency within 90 days of the application date, save for cases where the medicine’s price has yet to be approved, where the term may be extended by an additional 90 days.
Medicinal products which qualify for reimbursement may be released only by authorized pharmacies which have concluded agreements with local health insurance authorities.”
For information on existing trade barriers, please see the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, published by USTR and available through the following website: https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/reports-and-publications/2018/2018-national-trade-estimate.
Procurement & Tenders
In Romania, the organization of public auctions is governed by a package of 4 Laws, 98-101/2016. Most public auctions are published by the authorities on the public procurement platform: SEAP (Electronic System for Public Procurement), the rest being published on their own sites or in the press. The link for SEAP is www.e-licitatie.ro.
For procurement contracts whose estimated value exceeds a certain threshold set by the law, the contracting authority is compelled to publish a notice of intent, a participation announcement and invitation to tender.
a) $6.05 million for public procurement contracts/framework agreements for construction;
b) $156,000 for public procurement contracts/framework agreements for products and services;
c) $868,000 for public procurement contracts/framework agreements which have as their object services social services and other specific services
The contracting authority can purchase directly if the estimated value of procurement, excluding VAT, is less than:
a) $34,500 for products or services
b) $115,000 for construction
November 23-25, 2018 – autumn edition
April 19-21, 2019 – spring edition
April 19-21, 2019
Ministry of Health: http://www.ms.ro/
Public Procurement: https://www.e-licitatie.ro/Public/Common/Content.aspx?f=PublicHomePage
Government Health Projects: http://www.ms.ro/institutii-in-domeniul-sanatatii/
U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information
Name: Monica Bogodai
Position: Healthcare Specialist
Phone: (40)21-200 3372
Medical devices, dental products and high-tech diagnostic imaging equipment have excellent prospects for growth. In addition, e-health and hospital management are two areas poised for growth, as Romania pursues “e-Health” solutions to improve the standard of care and control costs.
The market for medical equipment in Romania has grown significantly in recent years, as general health spending has increased. The market will most likely remain heavily reliant on imports (around 90%), as the domestic industry mainly produces outdated equipment that can only compete with foreign products in terms of price. GE Healthcare, Varian, Siemens and Philips hold the majority market share in the country. Import growth is expected to continue due to insufficient high-tech equipment and an acute need for renovation within hospitals.
The estimated value of Romania's medical device market was $527 million in 2014 and it is forecasted to increase. The best prospects for suppliers are in the field of oncology, anesthesia and intensive care units, and in those medical units subordinate to the Ministry of Health and local authorities. The continued supply of international financing, in the form of World Bank loans, indicates that international organizations are confident that the extra capital will be of use in the development of certain areas of the healthcare sector.
Some public procurement activities are decentralized in Romania and the tenders for medical devices are organized at local county levels. High-value tenders with national utility, and those based on EU Funds or other financing are usually organized by the Ministry of Health. Hospitals and the Ministry of Health often combine multiple orders for different products and then procure them from a single supplier - an integrator. Currently, the majority of large hospitals seek one supplier for medical devices, consumables, hospital furniture, laboratory equipment, and all related items. Distributors handling a wide portfolio of products are able to effectively address the needs of large hospitals.
There are approximately 300 medical device distributors, the most important ones representing manufacturers located in the United States, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, China, Turkey, and Switzerland. Most imports come from EU countries – from Germany (34.7%) the Netherlands (7.8%), Belgium (7.4%) – and the United States.
The NHIH has developed three important projects related to e-health. Two are financed with EU funds – e-Prescription (implemented in 2012) and Electronic Health Record (implemented in 2014), and one is self-funded – the e-Health Card (introduced in May 2015). The card is the only means of obtaining medical consultations and prescriptions through the national health insurance system, with the exception of emergency medical services. All these systems are integrated into the existing centralized Sole Integrated Information System (SIUI), in use in all counties of Romania.
Romania presently has the lowest ratio of physicians per patient in the EU, and rural areas experience very limited access to healthcare services. This issue, combined with a lack of modern medical equipment and long travel distances to nearest hospital, creates a severe healthcare situation for patients living in rural areas. Considering these deficiencies, e-health and telemedicine offer a real alternative to these patients. As telecommunication networks in Romania are very well developed, the lack of traditional healthcare services can be partially addressed via telemedicine.
The Romanian government received EU funds to implement a $19 million rural telemedicine system in three counties, and the project was finalized at the end of 2015. The network currently connects nearly 200 family doctors with over 500 specialists within the counties and in main university centers.
Healthcare spending (including investment)
US$ 8.44 billion
... as percent of GDP
Hospitals, Procedures, Healthcare Professionals
Number of hospitals
Number of hospital beds
... available beds per capita
...of which in general hospitals
...of which in specialized clinics and rehabilitation centers
Life expectancy men/women
71.9 men/79 women
9.4 deaths/ 1000 live births
Percent of population older than 65
...caused by diseases of the circulatory system
...caused by Neoplasm
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