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EACEA National Policies Platform


7. Health and Well-Being

7.1 General context

Last update: 15 January 2021
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  1. Main trends in the health conditions of young people
  2. Main concepts

Main trends in the health conditions of young people

According to the Youth Barometer (Situația Tineretului și așteptările sale – Diagnoza - Barometru de opinie publică tineret 2016) commissioned by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2016, and comparing results with the Youth Barometer of 2014 and 2012, a healthy lifestyle is important and very important for over 90% of the young people in Romania. 83% of young people were content and very content with their health in 2016, compared to 76% in 2014 (all figures included in the Romanian Youth Barometer). The Youth Barometer conducted in 2018 has not been published by the Ministry of Youth and Sports


With nearly one in ten children born in 2010 to a teenage mother aged 15-19, Romania registers the highest birth rate in this age category in the EU-28, alongside Bulgaria and the situation did not changed in 2015, with 39 live births per 1 000 girls / women aged 10–19 years according to the Eurobarometer. As a result of insufficient family planning and reproductive health education, abortions to adolescents aged 15-19 accounted, on average, for approximately 10% of all abortions recorded annually in between 2010 and 2015 according to the same document.


The persons living with HIV/AIDS were, in 2011, primarily young people aged 20 to 29 according to the Partnership Agreement of Romania with EU.


The incidence of suicides among adolescents aged 15-19 was 6.3 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants in 2010, approximately 50% higher than the European average. Romania reported a 7.2% rise compared to 2005, while the EU rate has seen a slight decline, according to Eurostat, cited by the National Health Strategy 2014-2020.


More than half of the young interviewed in 2016 for the Youth Barometer declared they are active (including practicing sports or walking) at least 30 minutes a day and avoid alcohol and tobacco to have a healthy lifestyle.


According to the 2018 Sports Yearbook data, there are major differences between counties as regards the availability of sports facilities and sport organisations, from 91 clubs participating to sports events in Mehedinti County, to 408 in Timiș county and 386 in Cluj country, and 1234 in Bucharest. A total of 8 958 sport structures/organisations are actives in sport competitions and 94 413 young people participate to sport activities. Out of these numbers, in 2017, according to the 2017 Sports Yearbook data, 623 sport structures/organisations are participating to events organised by the National Federation Sports for All. No data are available concerning the number of young participants in sports for all events. All these data show a slight increase in participation in sport in Romania in general and of young people in particular, an increase of about 10% in 2017 and 2018 compared to data form 2012 Sports Yearbook.


Daily consumption of fruit and vegetables is a habit for 43% of young people according to their replays to the 2016 Youth Barometer. The figure decreased from 56% of young people eating daily fruits and vegetables in 2014, according to their own declaration. Moreover, daily consumption of fast food among the young people increased from 5% in 2014 to 10% in 2016 and the constant consumption (2-3 times a week) also increased from 18% to 31% of young people.


According to the Youth Barometer smoking among young people is constant at 34% in 2016 and 35% in 2014 and the intensity of cigarettes consumption is also constant, with 53% of smokers young people smoking more than 10 cigarettes a day in 2016 and 54% in 2014.


2% of young people declared in 2016 they drink alcohol daily, compared to 3% in 2014. Recreational alcohol consumption is constant with 24-25% young people drinking a few times a month and 20-26% a few times a year. However, constant alcohol consumption, a 2-3 times a week, increased from 9% in 2014 to 11% in 2016 according to the Youth Barometer.


Daily use of light drugs is reported by 2% of young people, while another 2% declare they use light drugs a few times a week, and another 1% uses light drugs a few times a month and 2% a few times a year. In 2016 the same indicator of the Youth Barometer sowed only 1% of young people used drugs daily, 1% a few times a week, 1% a few times a month and 3% a few times a year. The total number of drug users did not changed, but the trend shows the frequency of drugs use increased among the youth according to the Youth Barometer.


The dynamic of children and youth morbidity according to the Assessment of the Physical Development and Health Status of Children and Youth, Based on Medical Exams in Urban and Rural Schools – 2014/2015 school year is stationary, varying between 26% in 2002 to 25,31% in 2015. Between 2002 and 2015, one can observe the of morbidity increases with age for all categories is highlighted. Young adults examined in the 12th grade (18-19 years) have a morbidity of about 30%. The most frequent affections, present at about 20% of young people, are refractive affections, especially myopia. On the other hand, obesity frequency is constant among young people over the years, at about 10% according to the same statistics.


According to the report of the National Centre for Mental Health and Anti-Drug Fightingreport in 2014, over 6 433 young people between 15 and 19 suffered from a mental health disorder, including anxiety, depression, autism, behavioural disorders or nutrition disorders.


For all figures presented above and refering to 2010-2017, there are no recent statistical data or research published.


Main concepts

Health care in Romania is dominated by a public system which is financed mainly through mandatory social health insurance contributions. Employees contribute 5.5% of their monthly wage and employers add an extra 5.2% for each employee (according to the Fiscal Code). Children under 18, students, the unemployed and low-income persons are exempted from health insurance contribution. Adults are considered uninsured if they do not contribute to the health care fund, meaning they can only benefit free of charge from a basic health package which covers emergency care, pregnancy care, communicable disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment. The National Health Insurance House administers health care funds (according to the Law no. 95/2006 on Health Care System Reform).


Romanian General Practitioners are family doctors and have a gatekeeper role for the public system but not for the private system. This means that those benefiting from free services can't access any other service unless they are seen first by their family doctor. Most patients in Romania are registered with a family doctor of their choice, without limitations regarding the area in which they live. Patients can change the family doctor after a 6 month minimum period.


There are approximately 11 400 family doctors in Romania, of which less than 10% did not follow a specialist training in family medicine. The average patient list size is 1 600, with some family doctors caring for just 1 000 patients (minimum accepted limit for a contract with the Health Insurance House being 800 in urban areas with no limit for rural practices) Most family doctors work in single-handed practices.


No youth specific concepts are used by Romanian policy making in relation to youth healt and well being.