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Healthcare (Basel) ; 9(2)2021 Feb 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33546111


Medicinal oxygen plays an important role in healthcare, being essential for the existence and maintenance of the health of millions of people, who depend on medicinal oxygen every day, both in hospitals and at home. Medicinal oxygen is the primary treatment administrated to the majority of patients suffering from respiratory problems and low levels of oxygen in the blood, and in the context of the actual health crisis caused by the new COVID-19, the challenge is represented by increasing the supply of medicinal oxygen while reducing cost so that it is accessible where it is needed most, free at the point of use. It will take increased investment and commitment to put oxygen at the center of strategies for universal health coverage. In this context, it becomes essential to investigate the main characteristics of the Romanian market of medicinal oxygen, highlighting top key players, market development, key driving factors, types of products, market perspectives as well as shedding light on the segmentation of this particular market based on considerations regarding regions, hospital competence class and hospital specialization. Also, the research aims to explore the regional disparities in the decision of using O93%medicinal oxygen, revealing the main factors related to the usage of this type of product among Romanian public hospitals. The research relies on the first quantitative survey regarding medicinal oxygen usage among 121 public hospital units from a total of 461 public hospitals in 2018, which meet the specific requirements: includes the entire population according to the list published on the website of the Ministry of Health, is the most recent data and does not show repetition. The sampling was of probabilistic stage-type stratification, with the following sampling layers: hospital county distribution, hospital competence class officially assigned by the Ministry of Health and also area of residence (urban/rural). In order to analyze the main characteristics of the Romanian oxygen market, the following methods have been used: analysis of variance (ANOVA) together with Kruskal-Wallis, Pearson correlation coefficient as well as Goodman and Kruskal gamma, Kendall's tau-b and Cramer's V, as well as multilevel logistic regression analysis using hierarchical data (hospitals grouped in regions). The Romanian market of medicinal oxygen is rather an oligopoly market characterized by the existence of a small number of producers and two types of products currently used for the same medical purpose and having a substitutable character: medicinal oxygen O99.5%, and medicinal oxygen O93%. An overwhelming proportion of public hospitals agree that both types of medicinal oxygen serve the same therapeutic purpose. The Romanian market of medicinal oxygen highlighted a significant segmentation on considerations based on regions, hospital competence class and hospital specialization. Regarding the main perspectives, the Romanian market of medical oxygen keeps the growth trend registered globally, with development perspectives for competitors. Exploring the regional disparities in the decision of using O93 medicinal oxygen, the empirical results acknowledged the important role of unitary price, hospital capacity and the relevance of this product seen as a medicine. Medicinal oxygen is vital in sustaining life, proving its utility mainly in the context of the actual health crisis. In this context, the Romanian local market exhibits prospects for further development, being characterized by an important segmentation depending on regions, hospital competence class and hospital specialization.