An international seminar, organized under the framework of the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program.
The seminar was conducted in English and took place at Casa Comana Resort, a picturesque location in Giurgiu County, close to Bucharest.
The program began on Thursday afternoon and has concluded on Saturday afternoon, following a closing lunch.

The Socio-Economic Impact of Increasing Public Health Spending in Romania: Scenarios and Long-Term Benefits

Nowadays, healthcare represents an important part of government spending. Hence, evaluating the economic benefits generated by investments in the public health system is essential for assessing current policies and implementing data-driven policies in the future. The Seminar aimed to discuss the impact of investments in public health in Romania, mainly from an economic perspective, highlighting the microeconomic (individual / patient) and macroeconomic (societal) effects, looking at three potential scenarios for the long-term future: 1. maintaining the same level of investments; 2. increased investments in prevention and early detection; 3. allocating additional funds for public health expenditure, including for infrastructure and technology.

This seminar debated key challenges and ways in which different policies and investments are shaping outcomes, looking to develop best practices for the Romanian health system. Topics included:

  • Priorities in financing primary & secondary care.
  • Priorities in funding major National Health Programs.
  • Hospital care: Case study on the CaPeSSCoSt project and priorities in improving the quality and performance of hospital services through cost evaluation and standardization.
  • Models for reducing costs and increasing efficiency: best practices in European healthcare systems.

Discussions further addressed, more broadly, the cost of not investing in healthcare and not financing research & development.

The Seminar aimed to provide participants with a better understanding of the potential benefits of increased funding for the healthcare system, not merely individual patient benefits but also macro, societal benefits such as long-term cost reduction, increased productivity of the workforce, focusing on the multiplier effect healthcare spending has on the economy. Furthermore, the Seminar aimed to provide a starting point for a more targeted discussion on the socio-economic impact of increasing public health spending in Romania, carried forward throughout the 2024 Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program activities, with the goal of a collaborative Program White Paper on the topic, based on the input of participants.

Bringing together key stakeholders from the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program Community, we used the Aspen Method to create a group as diverse as possible in terms of sectors (public – including decision-makers from relevant Ministries and agencies, Parliament Committees, political parties etc.; private, non-profit, academia), professional background (including experts in public health, finance, macroeconomics etc.) and gender.

The Seminar brought together around 25 – 30 participants and combined expert presentations, group work, experience-sharing sessions, case studies and workshops on the topics relating to public policies, reforms and sustainability in the healthcare sector, focusing on the interaction between the main public, private, academic and non-governmental actors in the healthcare system.

The Seminar was moderated by Mr. Ștefan Strilciuc, Aspen Fellow and Associate Research Professor at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Iuliu Hațieganu” Cluj-Napoca, Mr. Laurențiu Dașcă, Aspen Alumnus and Country Manager, Arensia Exploratory Medicine Romania and Mr. Teodor Blidaru, Aspen Fellow and Coordinator, National Health Innovation Hub.

The discussions during the Seminar were enriched by the contributions of the following guest speakers: Ms. Larisa Mezinu-Bălan, Vicepresident, National Health Insurance House, Ms. Carmen-Mihaela Bardoș, Director, Public Health Programs, Ministry of Health of Romania, Mr. Cristian Vlădescu, General Director, National Institute for Health Services Management and Mr. Thomas Hofmarcher, Research Director, The Swedish Institute for Health Economics.

The participation to the seminar was by invitation only.
The participants included multiple stakeholders from the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program community.