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EU report says life expectancy in Romania is decreasing Wednesday, 29 December 2021

EU report says life expectancy in Romania is decreasing

The European countries with the highest life expectancy are Norway (83.3 years), Iceland (83.1 years) and Ireland (82.8 years), while Lithuania (75.1 years) is at the bottom of the ranking, Romania (74.2 years) and Bulgaria (73.6 years) following suit.

Although life expectancy at birth in Romania increased by more than 4 years between 2000 and 2019 (from 71.2 to 75.6 years), the pandemic reversed some of the gains over the last two decades. Even before the pandemic Romanians live 6 years less than the rest of Europe. COVID made matters worse. Thus, life expectancy in Romania decreased by 1.4 years, to 74.2 years.

“Life expectancy in Romania is among the lowest in Europe, and the COVID-19 pandemic reversed some of the gains made since 2000. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of strengthening primary care, preventive services and public health, in a health system currently heavily reliant on inpatient care. Health workforce shortages and high out-of-pocket spending are key barriers to access”, the EC report points out.

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Romanians live on average 74.2 years. In Romania, women live 8 years longer than men (78.4 years compared to 70.5) .This kind of difference is one of the most significant in Europe.

Romanians battle one of the worst healthcare system in Europe, underdeveloped and underfinanced.

Per capita spending on prevention is the second lowest in the EU, the document said. The healthcare system in Romanian is under-resourced and underperforming.

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Helathc care funding on primary care is also the lowest among EU countries. Primary care and prevention are poorly managed and could explain the high mortality rates in Romania from both preventable and treatable causes.

"The pandemic has highlighted the importance of strengthening primary health care, prevention services and public health in a health system that is currently heavily dependent on hospital care," the report said.

The report shows that due to COVID Romanians now die even younger than before also because there aren’t enough nurses and doctors.

“The migration of medical staff has contributed to the shortage of health workers in the country, and the number of doctors and nurses per capita is well below the EU average. This negatively affects access to care and increases waiting times”, the report mentions.

This is a problem Romania has been dealing with for a long time after a good many doctors and nurses left to work in western European countries, a trend which began shortly after the fall of communism and continues to this very day.

The European Commission report also writes that unhealthy habits contribute to almost half of all deaths in Romania.

"Romania reports higher alcohol consumption and unhealthier diets than EU averages”.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, while lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. The EC Report identifies that overweight, obesity and smoking rates among adolescents are high, and have been growing steadily over the past two decades.

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