Patient Stories from Romania 

Renanta

Renanta had breast surgery twenty years ago. As a result, her hand became very swollen and painful and she was unable to use it, which was difficult for her as she has a family to care for. She comes from a very poor village and no one understood that she needed lymphatic massage to help her manage this excruciating side effect. 

One of her grandchildren posted a message on Hospice Casa Sperantei's Facebook page asking for help. The hospice responded and Renanta spent two weeks in the in-patient unit in Bucharest. When she was admitted her arm and hand were so swollen that she could not imagine ever holding a pencil but she can now draw pictures for her grandchildren. 

Renanta with spiritual counsellor, Cornelia



Andrei 

Andrei is sixteeen and has been cared for in the Bucharest Hospice for several years. He has recently been staying in the in-patient paediatric unit and this photo shows Andrei with his mother Georgeta and younger brother Mario. When he was just a few months old, Mario was abandoned by his parents so Georgeta adopted him and raised him like her own child. For Andrei, Mario is the most important person in the world.


Andrei with Mirela, mother Georgeta and brother Mario

Mirela Nemtanu, CEO of Hospice Casa Sperantei, is also in the picture. When she arrived Mario immediately jumped into her arms and told her, in English, that she is beautiful. Andrei is more shy. He told Mirela that he was looking forward to going on one of our summer trips this year.



Filip 

Filip is eleven and suffers from muscular dystrophy. He has two sisters and had five brothers. All his brothers also have muscular dystrophy and, sadly, two of them did not survive the disease. Filip enjoys the paediatric day centre in Brasov. He is very shy, but also very curious. He likes to pretend to be a knight, loves Romanian fairy tales and he is very interested in geography.   

     

Filip 



The Bucharest Hospice - did you know?

  • In the in-patient unit at the Bucharest Hospice the reception counter is sloping and low down so wheelchair users have easy access to the staff
  • To ensure patients do not feel excluded all medical staff are based in the reception area and there are no separate offices for doctors or nurses
  • In the wards, the mirrors only show people's silhouettes and they are green or orange 



Hospices of Hope works with the Ministry of Health to develop a National Palliative Care Strategy in Romania 

The Ministry of Health recognises the importance of developing palliative care. It has adopted an ambitious target of 60% coverage for patients needing hospice care by 2020.

To help achieve this goal, the Ministry commissioned a study to assess palliative care within the country.      

A Technical Palliative Care Working Group was appointed by the Ministry and two of Hospice Casa Sperantei's board members were invited to join the group - Assoc. Professor Dr Daniela Mosiou, the Director of National Development and Education at Hospice Casa Sperantei and Malina Dumitrescu, Programme Director.       

Some key findings from the report are:

  • Only an estimated 7.9% of the need for services is currently being met
  • In 17 of the 42 counties in Romania there are no public or not-for-profit palliative care beds available
  • Even though 70% of people die at home there are only 13 palliative home care teams and these are all provided by NGO's
  • There are very few palliative care out-patient departments
  • There are three mobile units in the country and all are run by HCS
  • There are 5 hospice day-care centres in the country and these are also provided by NGO's
  • There is a large deficit of palliative care healthcare professionals
  • Less than 2% of GPs have received training in providing a basic level of palliative care   

The study recommends the introduction of the following additional services

  • 2,925 specialist palliative care beds
  • 325 out-patient units
  • 490 home care teams 

Following the publication of the assessment report the Technical Palliative Care Working Group has developed and proposed a national strategy to begin to address these challenges.

All photos on this page taken by Danni Beach