Romania needs to build a new healthcare system from scratch, president says

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis Romania needs to build a new healthcare system from scratch and a Liberal government would make that a priority should the party win parliamentary elections.

„I am determined to do what hasn’t been done in Romania after 1989, that is, to rebuild the entire health system from scratch,” the president said.

Romania holds parliamentary elections on Dec. 6 where the Liberals are expected to pick up the most votes though not win an outright majority.

Romania’s dilapidated and underfunded healthcare system came under renewed scrutiny this week after ten patients died in a fire that broke out in an intensive care unit in the northeast city of Piatra Neamt.

“It’s been a very difficult period for the health system which has exposed  the shortcomings that have been neglected for years on end,” the president said, Digi 24 reported.

Romania spends among the least in the EU on health, allocating just 5.6% of its gross domestic product on health in 2019.

Hospitals have been struggling to cope with rising numbers of Covid-19 patients in recent months, particularly those that need intensive care treatment. On Wednesday, there were almost 1,200 Covid-19 patients in ICU.

The president met government and health officials to discuss medical equipment and electricity supplies in public hospitals. A fire broke out at the Piatra county hospital on Saturday, likely due to an electrical circuit shortage.

„First of all, the gas systems need to be modernized, particularly for the oxygen supply and electricity networks,” he said.

He said Romania could tap into European funds to upgrade its medical system.

His comments came after the leader of the Social Democratic Party, Marcel Ciolacu proposed a bipartisan agreement to upgrade the country’s healthcare system.

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