Romanian Perspective of COVID-19 Outbreak from a Social Psychiatric Lens

World Social Psychiatry, Official Journal of the World Association of Social Psychiatry, Volume 2, Issue 2, Online since Friday, August 14, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic brought multiple changes in everyday life and healthcare assistance, including psychiatric healthcare. With the purpose of preventing infections, on March, 16, 2020, the Romanian government established the state of emergency and issued several restrictions regarding the free movement of persons and regulations for the health-care system, thus increasing the difficulty of healthcare access, both in the public health-care system and the outpatient services. One of the measures was the suspension of nonurgent hospitalizations and consultations in outpatient setting, which, associated with the increase in referrals for anxiety and depressive symptoms generated an abrupt increase in presentations in the emergency rooms. The resulting new needs were addressed by issuing the legislation for telemedicine consultation in the outpatient network and removing some requirements in the drug prescribing procedure. Despite the lack of dedicated resources, the resilience of the health-care system was outstanding.