- The country’s overall disease burden could be reduced by 36% over the next 20 years
- Better health means an estimated $26 billion to the economy by 20240, so a 9.0 percent boost to GDP
- The Romanian population is aging and shrinking, with a median age—43 years—that has increased by nearly ten years since 2000
Romania could add an estimated $26 billion to the economy and the overall disease burden could be reduced by 36% by 2040 if powerfully investing in health, according to McKinsey Global Institute research.
MGI researched what it would take to make the Romanian population healthier and then calculated the potential social and economic benefits.
Better health means an estimated $26 billion to the economy by 2040, so a 9.0 percent boost to GDP translates into 0.4 percent faster growth every year. Almost half of the potential economic benefit could come from expanded participation, a third could come from fewer health conditions, while the remainder could come from increased labor productivity and fewer early deaths.
The Romanian population is aging and shrinking, with a median age—43 years—that has increased by nearly ten years since 2000. While the birth rate has decreased over time, the death rate has increased rapidly, leading Romania to record one of the highest death rates in Central and Eastern Europe. The main cause is cardiovascular disease, which accounts for 57% of deaths among Romanians. Total years lost to poor health, including both morbidity and mortality, disproportionately belong to people of working age in Romania - about 63% - posing additional risks to the economic health of the country.
The country’s overall disease burden could be reduced by 36% over the next 20 years by using known interventions more widely, such as administering vaccinations, adopting healthier behaviors, expanding access to primary care, and improving adherence to prescribed medications. Further, the disease burden of cardiovascular illness could drop even more—by 39%. A detailed, actionable national health strategy, including policies on reducing cardiovascular disease, could help address this burden.
“Orchestrating a national health transformation is challenging, as past reform efforts have demonstrated, but public-health responses to the COVID-19 crisis have shown that rapid change is possible when the situation demands it. By creating a national health strategy focused on prevention rather than treatment, Romania could further build on these changes and make health a priority for all—individuals, companies, and governments”, said Alexandru Filip, Managing Partner of McKinsey Office in Romania.
At the same time focusing on proven health interventions could deliver an incremental benefit of $1.70 for each dollar invested in the Romanian economy. MGI’s research found that implementation costs could be more than offset by productivity gains in healthcare delivery.
“The notion that health can be an investment for the economic return rather than merely a cost has largely been absent from policy discussions in recent years. Confronting the pandemic gives us a unique opportunity to recognize this fact and take the steps needed to advance both broad-based health and prosperity. Romania cannot afford to miss it”, he added.
Notes for editors
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