Report: Romanian businessman indicted in Covid medical supplies fraud case hangs himself

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

A Romanian businessman and dentist Doru Bertea, indicted for bribery in a medical supplies fraud case, has hanged himself, reported.

He was indicted by anti-corruption prosecutors in two bribery cases and was under house arrest. He hanged himself on Monday, reports said.

Medical equipment

One case centered on medical equipment and supplies his company sold to the Odorheiu Secuiesc Municipal Hospital, in the northwest Transylvanian region between April to December 2020.

Hospital manager Antal Lukacs has also been indicted for taking bribes. The hospital bought the equipment for an inflated price. Some of it didn’t meet health and safety standards and or the hospital didn’t need.

Prosecutors said the manager broke public procurement laws by approving the purchase of medical equipment and supplies from a company controlled by Doru Bertea.

Abuse of office

Dr Lukacs who is also under house arrest, is indicted for abuse of office. Prosecutors said he repeatedly took bribes. The head of the public procurement department and another hospital official were also indicted.

The manager received 30,000 euros, in bribes, prosecutors said. Other hospital officials also received bribes and unlawful benefits.

Robotic air purifier

Doru Bertea was also suspected of selling a robotic air purifier to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Brasov, central Romania for an inflated price.

The financial damage to hospital was estimated at about 2.32 million lei, about 470,000. Doru Bertea’s company SC Chantel Sante SRL is also charged with getting revenue from an illegal contract.

Two company officials are also facing charges including Doru Bertea’s driver.

Acquisition procedure

Prosecutors said the hospital failed to organize formal acquisition procedures. It bypassed them in exchange for money it received from a company representative.

As the hospital didn’t have the money to pay for the supplies, the hospital manager also asked Doru Bertea to use his influence to secure extra funding for the hospital, money it didn’t qualify for.

Romania’s chronically underfunded health system is beset by corruption, inefficiency and politicized management. It spends he least on healthcare in the EU in terms of the percentage of its gross domestic product.



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