Romania is in 19th place among the 27 member states of the European Union in terms of the number of doctors, according to a report published this month by Eurostat.
The ranking was made according to the number of active doctors per 100,000 inhabitants. Another report published by the statistical office of the EU provides the situation of visits to doctors, Romania being at the bottom of the ranking.
The COVID-19 pandemic placed medical professionals under intense pressure and impacted access to consultations in many other specialities not related to COVID-19. In 2021, the frequency of medical consultations varied widely among the EU members. The average number of doctor consultations per inhabitant ranged between 3.5 and 7.8 in most EU members (except for Malta, for which data were not available).
Among the EU members, Slovakia presented the highest averages of medical doctor consultations, recording 11.0 consultations per inhabitant, followed by Germany (9.6), Hungary (9.5), the Netherlands (8.6) and Czechia (7.8).
On the other hand, the lowest averages of medical doctor consultations were registered in Sweden (2.3 consultations per inhabitant), Greece (2.7), Portugal (3.5), Denmark (3.8), Finland and Estonia (both 4.1).
In Romania, the average number of consultations per inhabitant was 4.9 in 2021, increasing compared to 2020 (4.6 consultations, on average), but significantly below the level of 2019 (5.3 consultations), when there was no pandemic.
In this chapter, in 2021, Romania was in 17th place out of 27 member states, between Italy (5.3 consultations/inhabitant) and Luxembourg (4.8 consultations).
Compared with the 2018-2020 annual average, the average number of doctor consultations decreased in 19 of the 24 EU members for which data were available. The exceptions were Latvia, with an increase of 5%, Slovakia, Poland and Austria (+3%) and Czechia (+1%).
Meanwhile, the largest decreases in the average number of doctor consultations were registered in Italy (-39%), Lithuania (-24%), Spain (-20%), Estonia (-19%) and Hungary (-8%).
Eurostat data shows a decrease in the number of medical consultations in 2020 and 2021 in most EU states, including Romania, due to the pandemic.
Official data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) show that the number of doctors – a category that does not include dentists – in Romania was 68,760 in 2021, which means about 360 doctors/100,000 inhabitants.
In the EU, in 2022 there were 1.82 million active doctors, most of whom (377,000, equivalent to 21% of the total number of doctors in the EU) were active in Germany.