European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu has sent a letter to Prime Minister Viorica Dancila requesting her to inform Brussels on the Government’s official position in regard t the three regional hospitals in Iasi, Cluj and Craiova.
Cretu also requests the authorities to send to the European Commission clarifications on the decisions intended to avoid additional delays in starting the works on the three regional hospitals, according to a release.
“As I have stressed in my letter dated April 25, 2018, the support for the three regional hospitals is zero priority for me and for the European Commission. It is essential to speed up the preparation of the projects and to improve coordination within the ministries (Health Ministry, Finance Ministry, Ministry for European Funds and Ministry for Regional Development). Although progress has been made in preparing the feasibility studies, in the assessment of the impact on environment and on consolidating the administrative capacity of the Implementation Unit with the Health Ministry, the general advance is unclear, under the pressure of time,” the letter sent by Corina Cretu reads.
The European Commissioner argues that the deadlines should be met and the three phases of implementation – building works, the decommissioning or reconversion of older equipment, as the case may be, as well as personnel training – all should make progress at the same time. In this regard, Corina Cretu requests the authorities to submit a clear planning and to validate as quickly as possible the intervention framework for the entire project and the implementation deadlines, so that they are communicated to the European Commission at the soonest.
She points to three critical issues to be approached by the authorities before the request for the project on building the three regional hospitals is sent to the European Commission:
- The funding deficit of about EUR 1.2 billion, according to the European Bank for Investments estimations;
- Review of the model by which the three regional hospitals will be funded, once they become operational, in order to assure the needed adaptations in regard to managing and funding mechanisms, so that the new investments cover the anticipated operational costs;
- The project should meet the objectives of the national strategy for health nationally and locally, i.e. the regional plans for medical assistance and master-plans for health of the three regions.
Concluding the letter, the European Commissioner says that the European Commission services already grant technical assistance to the Health Ministry, underlining once again her personal commitment and of the DG Regio to further support Romanian authorities in view of completing the three regional hospitals during the current financial exercise, including the additional assistance where the case may be.