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European investments minister: By 2027 there will be new hospitals in all the regions of the country

Guvernul Romaniei
Marcel Boloș

The transformation of the Romanian health system is a slow, discontinuous and fragmented process, placing Romania among the EU states with the highest number of preventable deaths, but by 2027 all the regions of the country will have new hospitals, argues Minister of European Investments and Projects Marcel Bolos.

The government adopted on Thursday an emergency ordinance that regulates the measures required to implement public health infrastructure projects financed from non-reimbursable external funds available under the 2021 - 2027 Health Program, and from loans raised from international financial institutions.

"When I took over at the Ministry of European Investments and Projects, the hospital infrastructure was not included in the 2021 - 2027 Health Program, despite many public hospitals being in an advanced stage of wear and tear, and an insufficient number of public hospitals having being built in the last 25 years, let alone large-scale public hospitals. Now we know for sure that in 2027 we will have new hospitals in every corner of the country," Bolos said according to a ministry release.

A novelty in the regulatory act adopted on Thursday is that the financing for future strategic investments in infrastructure can combine non-reimbursable external funds with an EIB loan.

"The two priorities of the Health Program referred to in the ordinance adopted today mean at least 7 large hospitals (county, single specialty or transplant centers) built from scratch and equipped, and another 20 municipal and city public hospitals built or rehabilitated and properly equipped. The financing contracts for all these facilities will be concluded until the end of the year, for us to have enough time to carry out the specific procedures for investments of such importance and scope," the minister of European investments and projects said.

The regulatory act sets in place the general framework for the methodology and selection criteria for public investment projects in the health sector, which are approved by the Health Program Monitoring Committee, upon the proposal of the Health Program Managing Authority based on the framework criteria laid out in the ordinance.

The eligible value financed under the Health Program for investments in new hospital infrastructures - county hospitals/county emergency hospitals, single speciality hospitals - bedded health facilities is a minimum of 5 million euros and a maximum of 500 million euros.

Investments include building expansion/modernization/rehabilitation works, including connection/expansion/revamping/rehabilitation works to existing buildings and the endowment with specific medical equipment, including green transition and digitization measures, as well as new construction works, including the installation of specific medical equipment, green and digital transition included.

For smaller-scale investments in the public infrastructure of city and municipal hospitals, the eligible value is set according to specific investment categories at a minimum of 5 million euros and a maximum of 75 million euros for bedded municipal facilities, and at a minimum of 5 million euros and a maximum of 45 million euros for city health facilities.

Bolos emphasized that with the regulations adopted on Thursday, investments of almost 2 billion euros in Romanian hospitals have entered the final stage.

The lists of projects selected by the Ministry of European Investments and Projects for financing under the Health Program are approved by government decision after the completion of the contracting process.

The calls for projects of investment in existing/new infrastructures of city, municipal, county, emergency county hospitals and single speciality hospitals will open during the third quarter of 2023.

The Health Program, approved at the end of November by the European Commission, is a multi-fund program with a total allocation of 5.8 billion euros, which includes financing from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund, as well as a loan component of 2 billion euros via the European Investment Bank.

Separately from the Cohesion Policy, 2.45 billion euros will be allocated through Component 12 - Health of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan for: capacity development for the management of health public funds (70 million euros); health investment capacity building (30 million euros); increasing the capacity for the management of health services and human resources (80 million euros); investments in pre-hospital infrastructure (314 million euros); hospital infrastructure (1.9 billion euros). AGERPRES


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