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.
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.
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. After receiving the personal identification number, asylum seekers may register in the public health insurance system and, if they pay healthcare contributionsand registerat a general practitioner’s office, they have the status of an insured person with the same rights and benefits as nationals.
In 2022, not all the regional centres had a medical doctor employed.
In Giurgiu, according to the director there is a nurse and a psychologist. However, since August 2021, there has been no medical doctor in the centre. The director of the centre reported that the psychologist provided counselling to 577 asylum seekers during 2022 and three counselling session were held with an interpreter.
In Rădăuţi, two medical assistants were hired in 2020. A medical doctor was contracted as a service provider, and a medical doctor of the ICAR Foundation was hired. In 2022 IGI-DAI did not hire a medical doctor, so there was only the doctor from the ICAR Foundation, who is present once a week. There are two tents in the courtyard, where transferred asylum seekers undergo medical screening, which is conducted swiftly. The medical screening includes the medical history of the asylum seeker. The interpreter is only called when there are exceptional issues. In 2021 there was also a psychologist at IGI-DAI.
In Timișoara, a medical doctor is present in the centre 3 hours per day and two nurses are provided by IGI-DAI. The nurses work on 8h shifts. The medical screening conducted by the medical doctor in Timișoara was done without an interpreter, however he is speaking Arabic. A summary evaluation is made without an interpreter, after which the medical file is drafted. There was no psychologist in the centre from December 2021 until November 2022. A social assistant was also hired in 2022, who has responsabilities mainly during the integration programme.
Bucharest: In 2022, the centre had three medical assistants and one medical doctor and the psychologist position has been vacant since August 2021.
Galaţi: There is a medical doctor, present in the centre twice a week or when a transfer arrives, one nurse and a full-time psychologist as of 15 October 2019. In addition, there is also a medical doctor hired by the ICAR Foundation present twice a week. The medical screening is done by the doctor and nurse, in general without an interpreter. The medical staff often relies on other asylum seekers. However, an interpreter was provided for the Afghan asylum seekers evacuated by Romania at the medical screening.
Şomcuta Mare: The medical screening is done by the medical doctor of IGI-DAI. It is basically a general consultation which includes the medical history, taking the pulse, heart rate and visual check-up to check scars. As of April 2022 the centre also has a psychologist. The centre had a medical assistant from the beginning of the year until end of March 2022 (she took over the psychologist position) and as of June 2022 a new medical assistant was hired.
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 visibly checked to see 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. The screening is conducted without the assistance of an interpreter, or sometimes with the help of the cultural facilitator, who is present on weekdays.
From 26 September 2020 until December 2022 the ICAR Foundation is implementing the project “Health Insurance for Asylum Seekers in Romania (ASIG – RO)” in partnership with AIDRom. Under this project at least 432 asylum seekers will benefit from medical services and at least 216 asylum seekers will benefit from specialized psychological assistance and counselling.
The Asylum Act provides for the right of asylum seekers with special needs to receive adequate health care. In practice, the 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 ICAR Foundation doctor is present in the centre once a week. According to the JRS representative, AIDRom representatives carry out a more detailed screening.
In 2022 in Rădăuţi an asylum seeker who was HIV positive was treated through the state scheme.
 Article 17(1)(m) Asylum Act.
 Article 17(1)(m^1) Asylum Act.
 Article 17(1^1) Asylum Act.
 AIDRom, News Release, available in Romanian at: https://bit.ly/38pzGtl.
 Article 17(1)(n) Asylum Act.