According to Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, healthcare is a priority for the Romanian Government.
After decades of medical services getting from bad to worse and authorities watching the phenomenon without apparently caring too much, the Government has finally turned the health-care sector into a priority. Although it is one of the country’s main pillars of development, the healthcare sector has been constantly undermined by lack of funding. However, this is not the only flaw in the system, marred by irregularities that have weakened patients’ trust in hospitals, and, even worse, have put people’s lives in danger on so many occasions.
The latest scandal in the sector relates to the use of disinfectants in healthcare units. It all started from a journalistic investigation, which revealed that the concentration of these substances, provided by a certain company, was actually ten times lower than what is admitted as normal. Checks conducted in dozens of hospitals have indeed shown that the tested disinfectants did not have the required concentration and quality. As a result, the Health Minister Patriciu Achimas Cadariu resigned, saying that there were many differences of opinion in the committee set up to deal with the issue. The government’s main concern now is to ensure patients’ safety, the former minister has said:
“Patients should not be drawn into a game where they can get panicked, because this is the only system that we have and healthcare must be properly provided. Disinfectants are part of the problems facing the healthcare sector and also one of the causes of hospital-acquired infections, and these were the priorities of my term in office.”
The disinfectants scandal has also shown that that there is not even one certified laboratory in Romania able to provide official results as regards the standard concentration of such substances. That is why Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, who is now also acting as interim Health Minister, has stated that legislative changes will be made soon. Dacian Ciolos:
“I have called on the state secretaries with the health ministry, especially as over the coming days I will be taking over as interim Health Minister, to come up, by Wednesday, with a draft minister’s order defining procedures regarding biocides. I’m considering several such decisions for the coming period with immediate effect, in order to amend and clarify the legislation in this field.”
Following recent disclosures, Dacian Ciolos has stated that this sector is a top priority for the Government and has decided to set up a working group, whose long-term goal would be to truly reform the Romanian healthcare system. Specialists have already had a meeting, during which they agreed that it was high time the Romanian health-care sector was brought to public debate.
(Translated by M. Ignatescu)