The Ministry of Health (MoH) launched the National Framework Plan for Viral Hepatitis Control in Romania for the period 2019-2030. It aims to reduce the prevalence of viral hepatitis as a public health issue by reducing the transmission of hepatitis viruses, reducing morbidity and mortality by viral hepatitis and their complications and by ensuring fair access to prevention, testing, care and treatment services.
The Ministry of Health has allocated 2.6 billion lei this year, and by 2024, about 12.1 billion in total will be provided under this project. According to the Health Minister, 94% of the funds come from the state budget, and the remaining 6% of the European funds that the Government claims to have already accessed.
“The purpose of the national framework plan is to minimize the extent of viral hepatitis as a public health issue by reducing the transmission of hepatitis, reducing morbidity and mortality by viral hepatitis and their complications by ensuring fair access to comprehensive prevention, testing, care and treatment for all,” Sorina Pintea explained.
Thus, four strategic directions for the planning and implementation of public health interventions against viral hepatitis have been established.
The first is about information and communication, by developing a strategic and solid information system to know and understand the viral hepatitis epidemiological situation and to formulate targeted interventions. Develop and implement a communication and awareness strategy as a primary prevention element.
The second relates to impact interventions: ensuring universal and free access to quality services for the prevention of transmission of viral hepatitis, ensuring universal systematic access to the detection of hepatitis virus infection by implementing systematic measures and campaigns at national screening level, ensuring universal access and free of charge for the treatment of viral hepatitis B and C, development of complementary services for antiviral treatment for patients with complications and comorbidities.
The third is to provide services fairly: the most effective methods for delivering services to vulnerable populations in different geographic areas with an emphasis on equity, maximizing impact and quality, and fourth – service delivery and budgeting framework: screening programs for population groups at risk; training of service providers; the development of integrated networks of service providers; developing and using tools for contracting services and medical products.
“Romania has taken important steps in the fight against hepatitis C, providing access to innovative therapies that provide a very high rate of healing. But the struggle continues. That is why we considered it extremely important to have a national strategy that encompasses all the measures that we need to take in order to win this battle,” said Sorina Pintea, Minister of Health.
Implementation will be coordinated from the point of view of the strategic decision by a cross-sector coordination committee (with a decision-making and public consultation section) and technically by a multidisciplinary technical committee consisting of professionals of different medical specialties, lawyers and economists, which will have the role of analysis, evaluation and planning.
The National Framework Plan will have a monitoring and evaluation mechanism on the basis of which the Coordination Committee will assess the state of implementation and will recommend to the Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance House measures to improve the control of this disease.