By Usman Khan, EHMA Executive Director

I was very pleased to have been invited as EHMA Director to speak at the Think Health Conference in Bucharest on February 19th. The event was hosted by Point Public Affairs and it brought together a range of contributors focusing on assessing the current state of play for healthcare in Romania as well as considering how in taking the European Council Presidency early in 2019 Romania can raise issues relating to health and social care. It was also pleasing to have positive feedback on EHMA’s presentation including reference made to it within the Romanian press. It was evident that Romania is currently facing many challenges to seeking to take their healthcare system to the next level, but what I found encouraging was the willingness to assess how platforms such as e-health can support this process as well as the political commitment to include healthcare as an important theme within their upcoming Council Presidency.

Having finished my presentation and spoken to other speakers and delegates I then went on to meet with an EHMA Individual Member Diana Pirjol who is currently a Gates Cambridge Fellow and independent healthcare consultant, having further discussions on healthcare in Romania with a focus on primary care development. On my second day I fly up to Cluj to make a presentation on EU health policy and practice at the Cluj School of Public Health, before meeting with colleagues from the School including Executive Director Dr Răzvan M. Cherecheș and Dr Marius Ungureanu, a regular EHMA Annual Conference attendee and contributor on health workforce matters as well as Mihai Negrea, another of our Individual Members and a contributor to Young EHMA.

In addition to helping EHMA to gain a fuller insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the Romanian health system, I was also to discuss ways in which EHMA could offer tangible support to improving health management capacity and capabilities. This will be taken forward at our Annual Conference in Budapest this June, when I will join a group of colleagues from Romania to develop a set of in person and e-learning educational and training opportunities.

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