Health care


Country Report: Health care Last updated: 30/11/20


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Access to health care for asylum seekers covers the right to receive free primary care and appropriate treatment, emergency hospital care and free health care and treatment in cases of acute or chronic illnesses considered imminently life threatening, through the national emergency health care system and qualified first aid. These services shall be provided, as the case may be, through the medical service of the Regional Centres and/or other health care facilities accredited and authorised by law.[1]


In addition, asylum seekers have the right to be included in national public health programmes aimed at preventing, monitoring and controlling contagious diseases in epidemiological risk situations.[2]


Asylum seekers are assigned a personal identification number which figures on their temporary identity documents in order for them to enjoy all the rights provided by the law.[3] After receiving the personal identification number, asylum seekers may register in the public health insurance system and, if they pay healthcare contributions and register at a general practitioner’s office, they have the status of an insured person with the same rights and benefits as nationals.


As of 2019, asylum seekers have access to a general practitioner within all Regional Centres. In Giurgiu, according to the director of the centre, there are a medical doctor, a nurse and a psychologist since August 2018.


In Rădăuţi, a medical doctor was hired in the summer of 2018, but his contract terminated in December 2018. In February 2019 a new medical doctor was hired.


In Timișoara, a medical doctor is present in the centre only part time (11-3) and two nurses are provided by IGI-DAI as of spring of 2018. The nurses are working on 8h shifts. According to JRS, the medical screening conducted by the medical persons in Timișoara was done without an interpreter and it is only a bureaucratic action. However, the AIDRom representative reported that, in general, the medical screening is done the next day if the asylum seekers arrive during the night or in the same day if they arrive during the day, with an interpreter or someone from the community. The screening includes a visual check-up, weighing and measuring.


Bucharest had a psychologist contracted by IGI-DAI until September 2017. The Ombudsman has stressed that the provision of a psychologist by IGI-DAI is “imperiously needed” and that psychological assistance and services provided by NGOs should be complementary thereto.[4] According to the Ombudsman the psychologist resumed its activity in October 2018. During its visit, the Ombudsman observed a scarce number of psychological counselling provided to vulnerable persons. Also a number of 3 nurse positions were still vacant. [5]


Galaţi: There are medical doctor, one nurse and a full-time psychologist as of 15 October 2019. The medical screening is done by the doctor and nurse, in general with an interpreter.


Rădăuţi: The medical screening includes the medical history of the asylum seeker. The interpreter is not used at this stage all the time.


Şomcuta Mare: The medical screening is done by the medical doctor of IGI-DAI. It is basically a general consult which includes the medical history, taking the pulse, heart rate and visual check-up if the person present any scars. If the interpreter of IGI-DAI is not in the centre at this stage, someone from the community will translate.


In Bucharest, according to the medical doctor, the medical screening is conducted by her and the nurse when the asylum seekers are accommodated in the centre. They are visible checked if they present any signs of eczema, rabies, lice and a medical record is drawn up. In case of medical issues, the asylum seekers are referred to the Ministry of Internal Affairs hospitals. Most of the time the screening is conducted with the assistance of an interpreter, but applicants do not have access to an interpreter all the time; they often require the services of the IOM Arabic interpreter.


ICAR Foundation, in partnership with AIDRom, also provides medical services to asylum seekers under the project “Health Protection Services for Asylum Seekers S.O.S. SA”, funded through the AMIF national programme. They provide psycho-social specialists and collaborate with general practitioners in all the Regional Centres.[6] Under this project, “at least 600 asylum seekers will benefit from medical consultations, investigations, analyses and treatments and will participate in information and counselling sessions on the healthcare system in Romania, their rights and obligations, the hygiene and public health rules. At the same time, at least 200 asylum seekers will receive specialist psychological assistance and counselling in the accommodation centres.”[7]


“The psychosocial specialists who will carry out activities in the centres will firstly identify the asylum seekers, especially those belonging to vulnerable groups (families in difficulty, elderly people, people with chronic diseases, unaccompanied minors, and victims of physical and mental violence) as well as their needs. Subsequent tests will be conducted to assess the general health status of newly arrived asylum seekers, and general practitioners will provide weekly medical consultations.”[8]


According to the AIDRom programme coordinator, the tests are basic blood tests and not epidemiology tests. However, if there are signs or indications that such tests are needed, they will be conducted.


Through the project, other medical tests and investigations recommended by collaborating general practitioners, as well as medical and non-medical treatments prescribed by them, are provided in order to respond as much as possible to the medical needs of asylum seekers.[9]


Specialised treatment


The Asylum Act provides for the right of asylum seekers with special needs to receive adequate health care.[10] In practice, ICAR Foundation is the only organisation with the necessary experience in providing psychological assistance to torture survivors and traumatised asylum seekers in all the reception centres.


In Timișoara, ICAR personnel conduct the medical screening. IGI-DAI is notified if there are asylum seekers suffering from mental health issues and they are referred to specialised hospitals, if necessary. The doctor of ICAR Foundation is present in the centre once a week. According to the JRS representative, AIDRom representatives carry out a more detailed screening. 

[1]          Article 17(1)(m) Asylum Act.

[2]          Article 17(1)(m^1) Asylum Act.

[3]          Article 17(1^1) Asylum Act.

[4]          Ombudsman, 2017 Reports, available in Romanian at:

[5]          Ombudsman, Report 75/2019,7.

[6]          AIDRom, Health Protection Services for Asylum Seekers S.O.S. SA, available at: The project started on 24 July 2018 and is implemented for two years.

[7]          Ibid.

[8]          Ibid.

[9]          Ibid.

[10]         Article 17(1)(n) Asylum Act.


Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the first report
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation