Background: In Romania there is a significant number of persons at-risk to develop pneumococcal diseases, especially the elderly over 65 years old. Costs of health care for these patients both for inpatient and outpatient facilities are high, due to increased Streptococcus pneumoniae drug resistance and due to additionally co morbidities these patients usually have. However, the real burden of pneumococcal disease in Romania remains unknown.
Objective: To assess the epidemiological and economical burden of pneumococcal pneumonia in Romania.
Material and method: Epidemiological data reported over the past 5 years by the' Centrul de Calcul, Statistica Sanitara si Documentare Medicala,' were analyzed (1999-2004). A retrospective analysis was performed by M. Nasta Institute from Bucharest and Pneumology Hospital in Iaşi, based on data from medical records and costs registered for a representative sample of patients treated in both inpatient facilities and on a survey conducted among physicians in outpatient facilities.
Results: It has been estimated that during 2004, there were registered 10,000 pneumococcal pneumonia cases that needed hospitalization and 38,200 patients that were treated in outpatient facilities. The global cost estimated for health care of pneumococcal pneumonia were 30 millions RON (8.3 millions) 86% were spent for hospitalized cases and 14% for ambulatory care.
Conclusions: This first assessment reveal that the Pneumococcal pneumonia the Romanian Health Care System and for the National Insurance House, as well. The use of antipneumococcal vaccine can be an effective tool for decreasing the costs related to Streptococcus pneumoniae respiratory infections health care. However, further cost- analysis assessments are needed (strongly recommended).