Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu reproach the unionists for having called a strike without taking into consideration the fact that talks with the Health Ministry are underway.
The employees of the Romanian healthcare system went on a Japanese style strike on Monday. Given the decisions taken by the National Council who convened on October 3 and the consultations held over October 5-7, as well as the talks within the Coalition of Health Experts, all the employees of the national health system will be on a Japanese style strike between October 14-16, without ceasing activity, but wearing tricoloured armbands on their right arms, according to President of the Sanitas Federation Leonard Barascu. The unionist leader said that since October 7, the Sanitas Federation has started the proceedings on calling a general strike.
According to the protest timetable set up on November 2, starting from 11 a.m., the organizations part of the Health Experts Coalition will attend a march in Bucharest on the route the Constitution Square – the headquarters of the Finance Minister – the Victoria Square. Leonard Barascu said on October 9 that Prime Minister Victor Ponta has decided at the meeting of the National Tripartite Council for Social Dialogue to set up a commission meant to analyse alongside the Health Experts Coalition the issues tabled by the healthcare employees. Barascu pointed out that the unionists will stick to the protest timetable as announced, including the Bucharest rally due in early November.
The healthcare employees plan to go on a general strike this November, by ensuring a third of their activity, if the authorities do not meet their demands until that moment. They call for minimum 6 per cent of GDP for the healthcare sector, a legislation guaranteeing the professional independency of the people working in the public and private health system, a wage payment law specific to the health system, the authorities stop denigrating the experts in this field. Their requests also include the proper equipping of medical units with beds in order to ensure rapid services and services of good quality for patients, as well as the real consulting of the Health Experts Coalition on every measure that might affect the functioning of the health system.
Present at the conference Mediafax Talks about Health Reform, Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu reproached the unionists for having called a strike without taking into consideration the fact that talks with the Health Ministry are underway.
In his address, Nicolaescu made remarks about the basic medical service package that could be adopted on Nov. 1. The minister said the basic package for insurers includes all the proposals contained by this guaranteed offer of the state, from community assistance to palliative care. “We should also say that certain consultations held up until now in the hospital are also included in the package. The diagnosis will be made by the pre-hospital care staff. Patients will defintely be visited by doctors,” he also said. Nicolaescu voiced discontent with the fact that he has received no comment or proposal on the basic package over the last two weeks, since the proposal was put up for public debate. The basic package should be adopted somewhere around November 1, in order to prepare the system in the upcoming two or three months and apply it as correct as possible, with no flaws. “We are aware of the fact that we spend a lot of money uneconomically, that certain pre-hospital items are improperly consumed. The basic package is mainly devoted to physicians. I want to convey the fact that we should hold many meetings with doctors, professional associations in the upcoming two or three months in order to disseminate the information to as many people as possible,” Nicolaescu said.
He also said that works on the additional package for private insurance have not began yet, but if the basic medical service package is adopted on November 1, the additional package will also be under public debate.