Updated 3 years ago

Can you access to the European health care system? What are the services provided? Find out in this article.

When moving to a foreign country, access to health care will probably be one of your major concerns. If you are moving to Romania, finding health care services should not be difficult, although the Romanian health care system is quite lacking compared to that of most European countries. But in general, local hospitals and clinics provide various health care services for everyone, including expatriates.

Health care system

Health care services are provided by hospitals, clinics, as well as by doctors who are members of the Romanian College of Medicine. Most major cities host their own hospitals and clinics which are fairly equipped. You will also find many pharmacies in major cities. However, these are quite limited in number in villages and in rural areas.

In the case of particular treatments, it is recommended that you attend a private clinic. In all cases, expatriates are required to subscribe to a private health insurance before traveling to Romania. This will allow refund in case they seek health care in a private health care institution. However, the public health care system remains very accessible. Support is provided under the social security regime which applies to medical consultations.


The National Health Insurance House (NHIS) manages the health and maternity insurance in Romania. Most treatments are financed by contributions made by employers and insured, including employees, independent workers and the unemployed. To claim refund for general health services, you have to designate either a family doctor or a general practitioner. Otherwise, enrollment for health insurance is invalid.

Contributions are made as follows:

  • benefits in kind: 5.2% by the employer and 5.5% by the insured
  • cash benefits: 0.85% by the employer capped at 12 times the equivalent
  • the equivalent of the national minimum gross salary, multiplied by the number of insured workers.

Some health care services have to be partly financed by the patient. In this case, his annual contribution should not exceed 1/12 of his annual net income. But the following are exempt from this contribution:

  • less than 18 years old minors
  • less than 26 years old students who do not receive any form of income
  • the spouse or parents of the person who does not receive any form of income
  • pensioners whose monthly income does not exceed 740 lei.

As regards refund for medication, this is performed in three categories:

  • A: 90% refund by the NHIS
  • B: 50% refund by the NHIS
  • C: 100% refund by the NHIS

Medical services provided by the NHIS include health care provided by general and specialized practitioners, outpatient care, hospitalization, medication, medical devices, reeducation, preventive medical assistance, maternity health care services, transport of patients and other services. Note that hospitalization is refunded at 100% when it has been recommended by your doctor or specialist, or in case of emergency. However, if you have requested for better hospitalization services or particular high standard services, you will have to bear the exceeding costs.

Social security

Social contributions apply to both employers and employees. These also apply to physical persons receiving income from royalties and civil conventions, independent workers, physical persons receiving taxable income and involved in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and partnerships without legal status, as well as retirees whose pension exceeds 740 lei, and finally, public institutions.

 Good to know:

All legal residents in Romania are covered by the NHIS. It includes foreigners if they are permanent residents.

To be eligible to public health care services in Romania, you must have contributed for at least 6 months during the last 12 calendar months. Students are also eligible to public health care, even if they do not contribute to the system. As regards temporary residents and diplomatic staff in Romania, who are recognized by local authorities, they are eligible to voluntary coverage.

Note that contributions are made directly to the NHIS thanks to the taxpayer's national tax identification number (TIN).

 Useful links:

National Health Insurance House – NHIS www.cnas.ro
European Health Insurance Card www.ceass.ro
Embassy of the US in Romania romania.usembassy.gov
NHS Choices – Health care in Romania guidelines www.nhs.uk

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.