Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program aims to broaden the scope of the debate on health policy, support sustainable reform in the health sector and develop a program community involving the public and private sector as well as civil society and academia.

The Public Policy Programs of the Aspen Institute Romania seek to improve the formation of policy through transparent, non-partisan, evidence-based, multiple stakeholders’ dialogue. Based on the Aspen Method, our programs offer public decision-makers, private stakeholders and representatives of the non-governmental and academic sectors an exceptional platform for reflection, aiming to reach consensus on concrete policy recommendations in Romania’s most relevant policy fields. By engaging with public decision-makers from the start of the reflection process, in an informal and informed dialogue, mutual ownership of our policy recommendations is fostered.

Based on a recommendation made under the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program, a Working Group on Fighting Cancer was established in the Romanian Parliament, including Deputies and Senators from all political parties represented in Parliament.

Under the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program a community was created comprising multiple stakeholders from the public, private, and non-governmental sectors, aiming to:

  • Support public policies aiming to improve the access to medicines and healthcare services in Romania and the Central-Eastern Europe region;
  • Support public policies aiming to improve access to new technologies, supporting the development of an innovation-based health system;
  • Map Romania’s healthcare services needs in order to find adequate responses and identify integrative healthcare solutions;
  • Support public policies aiming to improve the efficiency of the health system and identify additional funding sources;
  • Create a system of best practices which can trigger reform processes and developments in the healthcare sectors in the region and stimulate the use of market synergies.
  • Ensure Romania’s resilience, including early warning and rapid response capacity (as a matter of national security) – preparedness for public health emergencies, including pandemics and natural disasters.

The 2018 – 2019 iteration of our program was coordinated by Prof. Dr. Alexandru Rafila (Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program Director) and engaged approximately 300 healthcare specialists in debates on healthcare policies.

In 2019 the core deliverables included:

  • Working level meetings of the Task Force with the participation of key stakeholders, focusing on identifying priorities for the healthcare sector;
  • Thematic Workshop
  • Achieving Improved Access to Cancer Care in Central and Southeastern Europe, organized in partnership with the Central European Cooperative Oncology Group (CECOG) – 29 March 2019
  • International Public Conferences
  • Exploring synergies to enhance the role of digital health in strengthening health systems and increasing access to quality care in Europe, organized together with the Ministry of Health of Romania, in partnership with WHO, under the aegis of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, at the Romanian Palace of Parliament – 13 June 2019
  • Aspen Healthcare Forum (8th edition) – 3 October 2019
  • White Paper with recommendations for the relevant decision-makers
  • Framework presented by Prof. Dr. Alexandru Rafila at Aspen Healthcare Forum 2019; paper to be finalized
  • Custom Socrates Leadership Seminar, partially underwritten by the Simona and Adrian Bot family (11- 13 October)
  • Introduced to AIR’s healthcare community and to the larger AIR members through a one-hour panel discussion on Leadership and Innovation in Healthcare, followed by a cocktail reception, on 10 October.
  • Attended by 16 participants, including key public sector stakeholders and representatives of the Program Partners.

Focusing on contemporary challenges faced by leaders in the health sector. This year, the main topic was Technology, Breakthrough Medical Research, and the Future of Healthcare.

The 2020 edition of the Program continues to be coordinated by Prof. Dr. Alexandru Rafila and, bearing in mind the latest COVID-19 developments, provides as deliverables:

  • 3 thematic workshops
  • The first workshop, entitled The Impact of the Pandemic on the Future of Work and Public health systems, took place in the form of a webinar on April 30, in partnership with Aspen Institute Italy, and focused on identifying best practices, lessons learned and recommendations on how to exit the global health crisis safely, while emphasizing the right conditions needed to restart economic activities. The report of the event can be found here.
  • The second workshop, entitled The Resilience of Public Health Systems, took place in the form of a webinar on June 12. It analyzed how the Romanian public health system performed during the pandemic and discussed concrete measures to improve its resilience. The report of the event can be found here.
  • Participation and visibility at Aspen Healthcare Forum 2020, the Program’s high-level, international public event, which will take place under the umbrella of the Bucharest Forum international conference;
  • Custom Socrates Leadership Seminar organized for the program community, focusing on challenges faced by leaders in the healthcare sector;
  • Program White Paper with recommendations for relevant decision-makers.

The 2020 edition of the Program will benefit from the valuable support of:

  • Institutional Partners: Ministry of Health, Presidential Administration, Committee for Public Health of the Romanian Senate, Committee for Health & Family of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, National Health Insurance House, National School of Public Health, Management and Professional Development
  • Knowledge Partners: Romanian Society for Microbiology, “Prof. Dr. Matei Bals” National Institute for Infectious Diseases
  • Program Partners: Roche, Alliance Healthcare, Janssen, Pfizer, Sanofi, GSK, Astra Zeneca, MSD, Bristol-Myers Squibb