Programme agreement signed for the Health programme in Romania

The programme agreement for the Romanian European Public Health Challenges programme was signed on 16 July 2018

Key information about the programme

  1. The programme is operated by: The Romanian Ministry of Public Health
  2. The Donor Programme Partner in this programme are: The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the Norwegian Directorate of Health (HDIR)
  3. The programme's objective is: Improved prevention and reduced inequalities in health
  4. The programme funding (excluding co-financing) amounts to € 40 million and is funded entirely by the EEA Grants. 

Why is the programme needed?

Although people in general live longer and healthier lives than before, inequalities in life expectancy, access to health services and burden of diseases remain across Europe – for both transferable and non-transferable diseases. Insufficient funding in certain medical fields affects public health, especially that of vulnerable groups.

Challenges directly impacting public health in Romania include high infant and maternal mortality rates; one of the highest rates of tuberculosis in Europe; lack of prevention of non-transferable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes; and limited awareness and understanding of mental health issues and mental care, especially for children. Currently, the focus is on treatment and curative medicine – with prevention and health promotion efforts lagging behind. The Romanian National Health Strategy 2014-2020 proposes major changes to the health sector, emphasising the importance of prevention and improved access to healthcare – particularly for vulnerable groups such as Roma, women and children, and those in remote areas.

Support for this programme aims to reduce the health gap in Romania by improving access to health services, stimulating systematic changes and strengthening primary health care.

What will the programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?

Measures under the Romanian health programme will focus on three areas: (1) improved access to health services for women and children; (2) community-based health services for vulnerable groups including increasing the effectiveness and diversification of primary medical care and awareness; and (3) building the administrative capacity at national, regional and local level to stimulate more equal access to health services.

The programme will focus on prevention, community outreach and awareness raising campaigns, and strengthening access to health services in rural areas for vulnerable groups such as Roma. It is expected that 48 000 vulnerable persons will receive preventive health services, and an additional 40 000 receive general health care services. A total of 558 health professionals, including community care providers and school nurses, will be trained in health service provision. Expected results also include:

  • 200 family doctors practise using the PREVENT solution
  • 84 jobs created for qualified health mediators
  • 84 community teams using the guidance tools at local level
  • 70 000 preventive cancer screening tests performed for women from vulnerable groups in seven counties
  • 1000 young women vaccinated with HPV vaccine
  • 35 community care centres established and functional
  • 11 000 children with mental disorders with access to services

How will the programme strengthen bilateral relations?

Exchange of knowledge, best practices and values are important to address common challenges that Romania and the Donor countries face in the health sectors. Partnerships between entities in Romanian and the Donor countries will be encouraged at project level through matchmaking events and activities in conjunction with the launch of calls for proposals. These partnerships are expected strengthen bilateral relations, mutually beneficial activities and long-lasting cooperation between involved partners.

Availability of funding through open calls

In addition to eight pre-defined projects in the programme agreement, the funding in this programme will be made available through one open call and two Small Grant Schemes (SGSs). Indicative timing is outline below:

  • SGS 1: Policies and services for prevention of diseases – Autumn 2020
  • Call 1: Access to health care services for vulnerable groups – Spring 2020
  • SGS 2: Access to health care services for vulnerable groups (NGOs) – Spring 2020


Download the full programme agreement for more detailed information about the programme

More information can also be found on the Programme Operator's website and on the Donor Programme Partners' websites: the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Norwegian Directorate of Health.