May 17, 2020

Romania continues to contribute the lowest spend on healthcare in the EU

healthcare services
Catherine Sturman
2 min
Getty: Bucharest, Romania
This year, it was announced that Romania is set to overhaul its outdated healthcare model and place significant investment within its ongoing services...

This year, it was announced that Romania is set to overhaul its outdated healthcare model and place significant investment within its ongoing services. However, the country continues to contribute the lowest spend on healthcare within the European Union (EU), with an expenditure of €388 per inhabitant, as reported by Eurostat.

At present, Sweden, Germany, France and the Netherlands have adopted the highest healthcare expenditure relative to GDP amongst the EU member states. Germany in particular adopted a healthcare expenditure of €321bn in 2014, followed swiftly by France and the United Kingdom.

With increasing healthcare costs, staff shortages and mortality rates which are lower than the rest of Europe, the country faces a number of challenges. Many healthcare professionals have voiced a lack of progression, opportunity or pay as drivers to leave. Working conditions have also been stated to be lower than what has become standardised in EU countries, leading to care services which are below expectations.

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Consequently, Romania is currently witnessing a significant shortage of medical professionals, who are choosing to relocate areas such as Germany, Britain or France, leaving up to a third of positions remaining vacant in their home country. This has led to a slight increase in pay for medical professionals, but the industry has a long way to go in attracting and retaining its local talent.

Additionally, expenditure related to preventative care remains low for Romania, leading to a sharp rise in deaths which could have been prevented. In the findings by Eurostat, it has been stated that “10 EU Member States reported less than €100 of long-term care expenditure per inhabitant in 2014, with three of these — Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria recording average levels of expenditure that were less than €10 per inhabitant.”

Despite such challenges, the political climate in the country continues to create barriers and added complexities for the healthcare industry. From recruitment, to added pay, political beaucracy remains an issue for the country. With plans to transform its healthcare system, it is hoped that such issues will be addressed, and quickly.



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Jun 17, 2021

Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT

3 min
Erez Yarkoni, Global VP, explains how a three-way partnership between Check Point, HOOPP, and Microsoft is yielding optimum cloud security

Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.

“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.

Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:

  • Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
  • CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
  • Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data


However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”

In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies. 

The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help. 

“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”


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