The manager of Malaxa Hospital in Bucharest, Florin Secureanu was sacked, Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea announced on Tuesday.
Anti-corruption prosecutors are conducting searches at the hospital following media coverage over serious irregularities at the hospital.
More precisely, prosecutors are searching for the illegal contracts clinched by the hospital with various private companies on public money. The former manager Secureanu is accused of diverting thousands of euros in cash through illegal payments.
Journalist Catalin Tolontan and his investigation team from “Gazeta Sporturilor” revealed on tolo.ro that the hospital manager was getting out public money from the unit through a private insolvent company. Moreover, he had contracts with a jewelry company, Yarouse Jewelry to clean the hospital’s medical outfit and he paid for the funerals of several interceders from several city halls.
According to tolo.ro, the Malaxa Hospital paid EUR 9,000 to a jewelry company under the pretext to clean the medical outfit of the gynecology ward. In fact, the money was used to pay gifts to a young woman who is told to be manager Secureanu’s mistress.
Journalist Tolontan also disclosed that the manager from Malaxa used to take out money from the hospital’s budget based on some fictitious invoices.
The reporters from Gazeta Sporturilor managed to get two such invoices, with the name of Malaxa Hospital on them. Both invoices have been released early this year and were worth RON 4,850 and RON 9,500.
Practically, there was a double bookkeeping at Malaxa.
The newspaper discovered that RYS Force Company Ltd., the company through which thousands of cash withdrawals have been operated, continues to take money from the hospital, although the court disbanded it in July 2015 and it was radiated in November 2016.
The investigative journalists also released recordings where ex-manager Secureanu is heard cursing and humiliating his employees, mostly women, by insulting, cursing and threatening them.
Florin Secureanu was not to be found to present his position since the scandal outburst.
Bucharest general mayor Gabriela Firea on Tuesday informed she had decided to remove Florin Secureanu from the manager position, after the previous day she had announced that the city hall’s control body was investigating the situation at Malaxa.
“I appeal to the manager to stop hidding from the general mayor and from the mass media, to come to work and to give the representatives of the mayor’s control body all documents they are asking for, particularly that some of these papers are related to the bookkeeping and they must be checked (….) It’s regrettable, for a very important hospital in Bucharest. If the media reports are confirmed, the decision is clear: the management contract will be closed,” mayor Firea said.
In his turn, the Health minister Vlad Voiculescu referred to the Malaxa case on Tuesday, stating that a new type of management should be enforced in the Romanian hospitals, arguing the case of the Malaxa manager, Florin Secureanu “is iconic” in this respect.
“We need to have a different type of management in state and private hospitals in Romania. The problems we are facing and which are public are mostly referring to the state hospitals. And the Malaxa example is iconic. What we could do? We can send the Control Body to probe into these facts. We asked for mayor Firea’s consent, for again, the Health Ministry needs the local public authorities before conducting this investigation,” minister Voiculescu told a press statement.
In Romania, the state hospitals are subordinated to the city halls.