Update: Vlad Voiculescu, the new Health minister. What did President Iohannis tell him?


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Vlad Voiculescu becomes the new Health minister on Friday after president Klaus Iohannis signed the appointment decree.

The swearing-in ceremony was scheduled at Cotroceni Palace at 14:00.

President Iohannis told the new Health minister Vlad Voiculescu that by courageously taking over this portfolio he has the chance to correct the systemic problems in this field.

Now you have the chance to involve from the minister position and correct the systemic healthcare problems,” Iohannis told the swearing-in ceremony.

The President added that the new minister has all the freedom and his support to come up with public policies in the healthcare system that should considerably improve it.

The head of state stressed that the new minister’s political independence gives him an extra freedom, considering that the previous political ministers were afraid of their own party and less of the public opinion.

It’s somehow paradoxical that this Government, which took over a very restricted mandate, in turn must fight problems that are mostly old. Even if there are some trends in the public space to lay problems on this Government’s head, I believe that it’s a bad thing and a good one at the same time.

It’s a bad thing that people who did nothing but to be bold enough to embark on this short mandate are now blamed. On the other hand, you do have the chance to correct things. Surely, you won’t correct them all, you will not solve all the problems, but this political independence gives you a surprising freedom to come up and solve the systemic issues that others couldn’t solve as they were afraid most often of their own party, sometimes of the Opposition, but sporadically of the public opinion,” President Iohannis stated.

PM Dacian Ciolos on Thursday gave President Iohannis the proposal to name Vlad Voiculescu for the Health minister vacant position, the Executive informed.

The premier told Realitatea TV later on in the evening that he had run the risk of naming a man from outside the system, but who had worked with the system on behalf of the civil society.

Government sources told HotNews.ro several days ago that Vlad Voiculescu, cytostatics Network founder and Vice-president of one of the largest European patient organizations (European Cancer Patient Coalition) is considered by Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos for the minister position at the Health Ministry. Another option would have been Leonard Azamfirei, rector of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Targu-Mures.

Vlad Voiculescu has an experience of over 15 years in financial consulting in Vienna and in health charitable activities in Romania. In Vienna he managed international projects for financing the health infrastructure, but also in the fields of energy and transport. Earlier this year, Voiculescu has returned to Romania and currently is chief of staff of Finance Minister Anca Dragu.

In 2008 Vlad Voiculescu initiated the so-called cytostatics Network, a group of over 400 volunteers from all around Europe who brought in Romania free cytostatic drugs that were missing for cancer patients. The cytostatics network story was widely reported throughout the media in Romania and abroad, the initiative succeeding to stimulate the change of legislation in monitoring essential cytostatics.

In 2013 Voiculescu was elected Vice-president and treasurer of the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC), the largest European coalition fighting for the rights of patients diagnosed with cancer. He is also one of the eight members of the group for the patients’ rights of the European Society of Medical Oncology.

In November 2015 he initiated discussions with hospitals in Austria and helped the team which handled the transport and treatment of ‘Colectiv’ patients in hospitals in Austria and Germany.

In 2014 he has founded, together with journalist Melania Medeleanu, MagiCAMP, the first camp exclusively for children with oncologic diseases in Romania. The camp is free and runs on volunteering and donations.

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