Modernizing hospital networks in the Republic of Moldova


A policy round table on hospitals was held in the Republic of Moldova on 18-19 May 2011. The objectives of the policy round table were to:
  • develop a shared understanding of the goals set out in the hospital master plan in the context of the policy roadmap under development in 2011;
  • to identify the steps required to implement the policy successfully including any changes in other policies such as regulation, health financing including payment mechanisms, managerial capacity;
  • to discuss issues related to infrastructure investments;
  • to share practical experiences on managing change from planning to implementation; and
  • to learn from experience in other countries about how the policies can be successfully implemented.
The meeting included an address by the Prime Minister’s office on the current health system and overall government priorities, a diagnosis of the current hospital network by the Ministry of Health, expert opinions and observations of plans to modernize the hospital sector, and discussion among hospital managers.

“Health care reforms in the Republic of Moldova on health financing and the development of primary care have been praised by many international experts”, said Dr Viorel Soltan, Deputy Minister of Health, and continued addressing health care managers, “however we have unfortunately stopped in middle and now is the time to continue with organizational reforms.”

Dr Andrei Usatii, Minister of Health, said in the opening, “The costs of medical services are increasing all over the world and the Republic of Moldova is not an exception. Every second leu in our health care budget goes currently to hospitals even with our lack of modern technologies and very cheap human resources.” He added, “The Government is committed to modernize hospitals and significantly increase remuneration of health professionals but this can be achieved only through more efficient use of resources”.

“Hospitals are an essential part of the health system and their modernization is critical to achieve better health outcomes for the population. Experience from other countries has shown that hospitals need to change continuously to adapt to changing health needs and to improve efficiency; the dialogue with stakeholders the Ministry of Health is launching today is central to the process of modernizing hospitals in the Republic of Moldova,” said Dr  Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative to the Republic of Moldova and continued, “WHO is ready to support such dialogues in the Republic of Moldova, as well as the development of related strategic documents, and will mobilize high level external expertise to support this process.”

Nigel Edwards, WHO consultant said, “Hospitals and healthcare across the world are changing. The Republic of Moldova has an opportunity to take a major step forward and change how hospitals and healthcare works. This is a very challenging task and will require imagination and leadership. The result should be better care but it will also require some difficult decisions about the future of some hospitals.”

The policy round table on hospitals was undertaken as part of the European Commission funded technical assistance program under WHO coordination. The objectives of the program include strengthening stewardship of health sector investments, better performance monitoring and ensuring greater use of evidence for policy decisions.

Around 100 participants, including representatives of the central government, the Ministry of Health, the municipal departments of health, the National Centre of Health Management, the National Health Insurance Company, the State Medical and Pharmaceutical University, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations and hospital managers from across the country.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Health with the support of WHO/Europe.