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Iohannis: Romania's healthcare system must be rethought from the ground up

Klaus Iohannis

Romania's healthcare system needs to be rethought, President Klaus Iohannis told a news conference on Tuesday.

He sent condolences to the families of the patients who died in the fire at the Piatra Neamt Emergency County Hospital.

"I am with the grieving families and I wish, once again, much health to those who suffered in this fire. I want to thank all those who were immediately involved and I want to convey my respect and appreciation for the young doctor Catalin Denciu, who endangered his own life to save other lives," said Iohannis.

He pointed out stressed that "the healthcare system in Romania must be rethought from the ground up."

"Underfunding and poor spending of public money in hospitals, lack of modernisation, endemic corruption, which we must not shy away from pointing out publicly, incompetence and non-involvement, all this has crushed our medical system and made many young graduates and good professionals go abroad. Since March, this system, already overburdened, has had to fight the battle with the novel coronavirus as well," the chief of state pointed out.

In his opinion, "it is the merit of our doctors that, through enormous efforts, they save lives and heal patients, despite all the difficulties they face."

Iohannis added that "only genuine reforms, made with a majority working for Romanians, can really change all these structural flaws."

"But we are constantly faced with the same obstacle: the opposition to change for the better. There are always the same politicians with same old mores who left Romania in collapse, deprived of resources, now shouting shamelessly from the sidelines. I will not comment on the ongoing investigation in Piatra Neamt, because the relevant authorities will announce its findings when they complete it. But let's not limit ourselves to identifying only those who made a technical mistake because the problem is more serious than that," added Iohannis.

At the same time, he spoke of a "moral culprit, the one who has blocked the government every month in Parliament and asked people not to follow the rules in the midst of a pandemic, with dramatic effects on the health of our citizens."

"It is a truth that we must say that in the same spirit of blocking the efforts to stop the pandemic, the local Social Democratic Party (PSD) administrations played by ear when applying the measures from the top down, in an electoral spirit. In Piatra Neamt, the red barons changed hospital directors on their own, refusing to co-operate with the Public Health Directorate or with specialists in the Ministry of Health. The local PSD administrations are constantly obstructing government decisions, do not allocate enough resources, do not apply high standards and prefer improvisations that ultimately leave victims behind. The situation cannot continue like that," the president said.

Iohannis pointed out that "Romania needs overhauling reforms that are possible only with the support of a large parliamentary majority. Therefore, the vote on December 6 is more important than ever, in order make possible the ample process of reconstructing Romania that I and the National Liberal Party (PNL) government have pledged to conduct."

At the same time, the chief of state announced that on Wednesday a meeting will be held at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace with hospital equipment experts, more specifically intensive care units specialists, with reference to medical gas systems and electricity grids.

"We know that there are many problems in this area that need to be addressed as a matter of priority. Given the overload in the intensive care units caused by the pandemic and the increase in the number of patients in serious condition, support networks can be overloaded, which poses a major risk of tragedies like the one in Piatra Neamt," said Iohannis.


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