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88 corruption cases reported through the Health Ministry’s special phone line in the past 10 days

Health minister Vlad Voiculescu held a balance sheet press conference on Tuesday, announcing that 88 potential breaches have been reported since the phone line for reclaiming corruption cases in the healthcare system has been set up ten days ago up to present.

“The anti-corruption phone line and the protocol clinched with the General Anti-corruption Direction (DGA), the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) and the Prosecutor’s Office are an essential step that we have made to clean the system from fraud and corruption. 88 calls have been made in the past ten days, referring to corruption or fraud case in the healthcare,” Voiculescu stated.

Voiculescu, who has run the Health Ministry in the past seven months, said that the main long shot is that both doctors, hospital managers and central authorities begin to bring to light all the system’s problems.

“There are many improvements that the ruling central authorities and the Health Ministry should do. The first thing to be able to regain people’s trust is to stop lying to them. I think we have been lying ourselves too much, too long. That’s why we established the system of measuring the patients’ satisfaction by SMS, which will be available countrywide as of next week. The system is not only suffering of sub-financing but also of corruption and the lack of rule observance. The best cure is transparency and punishing the irregularities,” the minister argued.

He also pointed out that making all acquisitions over RON 20,000 transparent in the healthcare system is another major step that will show its effect long term.

However, the minister warned that many Romanian hospitals will be out of the operating permit as of December and they might not get a new one.

“If we apply all rules, most of the Romanian hospitals should be closed down (…) Investments should be prioritized and money should go where is mostly needed (…),” Voiculescu underlined.

He admitted that some of the transparency projects initiated during his term might be amended or even cut out by the future Health minister. Voiculescu confessed what he wanted the most is to see the three regional hospitals operational, a project that has been concluded during his mandate.

33-year-old Vlad Voiculescu, economist by profession, has been known in Romania for his support granted to the patients suffering of cancer. He was appointed as Health Minister on May 20 this year after the previous minister Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu resigned amid scandal of the diluted disinfectants.

About Alina Grigoras Butu