Objectives: The aim of this study was to assist and facilitate introduction and development of a health technology assessment (HTA) program in Romania.
Methods: Mentoring of an initiative group in Romania was provided by an HTA program in Canada. Mentoring activities included provision of HTA materials, participation in local seminars, facilitating contact with HTA and funding organizations, and in-house training of a professional from Romania.
Results: Since 1998, when the relationship was initiated, the Romanian group has been successful in developing an understanding of HTA and awareness of its utility among various decision-makers in the health system. Currently, although the need for HTA in Romania exists and interest in developing this activity has been officially expressed, HTA is still early in its development phase. The mentoring support helped to identify and define the need for HTA in Romania. Continuation of the existing relationship can be expected to strengthen the expertise in this country. However, while mentoring has been a valuable activity, it is not, by itself, sufficient to ensure development of an HTA program in Romania. The actions and decisions that could lead to implementing HTA in Romania depend on the local context.
Conclusions: Mentoring services assisted the initiative group in promoting HTA in Romania. The implementation of HTA in Romania has not happened yet, and efforts need to continue to sustain the existing momentum. However, success in implementing an HTA program will depend on essential factors such as local political, economical, and educational support for this initiative and others like it.