Dr. Andrei Usatîi, Minister of Health, discusses recent developments in Moldova’s healthcare sector. He also highlights opportunities for international invests and partners.
European Times: Can you discuss some recent advances in Moldova’s healthcare sector?
Andrei Usatîi: I studied medicine in Moldova and Russia, and also worked in Canada. In upgrading Moldova’s healthcare system, I have tried to implement what I learned in Canada, particularly concerning primary care. Beginning in 2000 when I was the deputy minister, I began to establish a sustainable network of physicians and health centres throughout the country. Today, every community with 4,000 people or more has a health centre and we plan to set up around 100 more centres. Moldova can now guarantee proper medical treatment. In addition, thanks to reforms over the past four years, our hospitals are much more efficient. This year, we opened a new surgical hospital with 16 state-of-the-art operating rooms in May and now the general public has access to top-quality surgical treatments.
European Times: What are your top priorities for the healthcare sector?
Andrei Usatîi: Moldova needs to ensure that the healthcare system is workable and is focused on outcomes. This involves four pillars. The first is financing, and we have succeeded in more than doubling our healthcare financing, from €2 billion in 2009 to €5 billion today. Our next pillar is development. We need to adjust to a new system of healthcare. The third pillar is to be more efficient in our training and management of our healthcare professionals. Finally, our main challenge is human resources. We need to motivate our physicians to remain here in Moldova. We received around €58 million between 2010 and 2014 from international partners, including the EU, for training programmes and other improvements to our healthcare system, and many of our physicians have been trained abroad. We continue to develop our healthcare infrastructure.
European Times: Are there opportunities for international investors in Moldova’s healthcare sector?
Andrei Usatîi: Moldova welcomes international investors in the healthcare sector, including through public-private partnerships. We are currently looking for a partner to develop a new regional hospital.
European Times: What is your personal message to potential investors?
Andrei Usatîi: Moldova is a European country and its people have a European mentality. We are committed to developing a healthcare system which provides universal access to quality healthcare services, and Moldova has a good track record as an international partner.