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HEALTH LITERACY IN ROMANIA

25/05/2015
by Florica Monceanu
Language: EN

Schopenhauer said that: ʺHealth is not everything, but without health everything is nothingʺ.

Interest in the concept of health literacy, teaching population in health field has gained ground in recent years, also illustrated by the growing number of publications that deal with this topic in medical and public health literature.

Health literacy (HL) is defined by the National Institutes of Health as the extent to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, to process and understand basic information on health and health services, and the ability to make appropriate decisions about their own health.

The main objective of health education is to train and develop in the population, from an early age, a concept and a hygienic behavior, sanogenic in order to protect health, harmonious development and strengthen the body's adaptation to the ambient conditions natural and social.

An informed patient can take oneʼs choice. Among the most important patients' rights stipulated in the European Charter of Patients are those related to: preventive measures, accessibility, correct information, oneʼs own free choice.

In this sense, it is necessary to form an opinion of the mass, on scientific foundations, to individual and collective hygiene, to food, clothing, work and rest, to the rational use of free time, and natural strengthening factors body   to avoiding risk factors and how to request medical assistance and the various means of investigation and treatment.

As regards Romania, the evidence of health literacy and its determinants are limited.

According to the report "Power of European patients - options and implications", published in Brussels, Romanian patients are among the less informed in Europe, ranking only 30th place in a classification of European countries.

The reasons for which Romania is so low in the rankings belong with lack of financial motivation that supports informed choices, and the lack of information and patient involvement in taking the decisions.

What must be improved in Romania? First, information. "Literacy" of patients regarding their rights is essential.

The report shows that Romanian patients need understandable information about healthcare system. An online information system or by non-stop telephone, could provide information on health services, quality of services, costs related to take a decision based on their needs and financial possibilities.

Equally important would be the presence of a catalog of physicians by specialties. These measures may turn patients into active partners in the healthcare system.

In this regard have been developed sites providing information in the field, such as:

http://www.aliantapentrusanatate.ro/: Romania Health Alliance is a nongovernmental organization that works to create a favorable climate to ensuring healthcare focused on the needs of every citizen.

http://www.protectiapacientilor.ro/: National Association for the protection of patients wants to achieve real protection for patients by providing verified or notoriety information related to healthcare system.

http://www.voceapacientului.ro/ : is an independent website that tries to increase the level of medical services guiding citizen opinions to the right people in solving the problems, a site that considers that the patient is essential for the growth of medical services.

http://www.copac.ro/: Coalition of Patients Organizations with chronic diseases in Romania supports the interests of patients with chronic diseases to the competent state bodies and aims primarily improving access to information for patients with chronic diseases.

http://www.aparam-pacientii.ro/:Patient Rights Protection Association is a non-profit organization that aims to raise standards of healthcare.

            Keeping health and fight diseases enroll among the oldest human concerns.

            A good health is above wealth and  is not only an individual problem but concerns as much the whole society.

 

Bibliography:  

  • Brochure Patients' rights
  • Health literacy  - Alina Zlati & Adriana Băban, Universitatea Babes Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca
  • Assessing health literacy in rural settings: a pilot study in rural areas of Cluj County, Romania - Pop OMBrînzaniuc ASirlincan EOBaba COChereches RM., 2013 Dec;20(4):35-43. doi: 10.1177/1757975913502686. Epub 2013 Dec 4.
  • European Charter of PatientsʼRights
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