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March 23, 2023

70,000 public sector employees to be sacked this year

According to the supplementary letter of intent to IMF, the Government took commitments to cut the public sector employees down to 1.29 million by the start of 2011, which means the sacking of 70,000 employees or just above 5 per cent, Mediafax informs. “At the same time in 2011 we will limit the salary fund to RON 39 bln and set a limit of 1.29 million public sector employees. In order to encourage budgetary discipline, to prioritize the projects by activities and to enhance efficiency, the Ministry of Finances will issue the general limits of expenditures to the primary fund managers, in the process of devising the fiscal strategy,” the document shows. Likewise, the authorities promise to set up of a Government-backed analysis team that will ensure the link between the fiscal strategy and the annual budgets. According to the latest data that the Government presented, at the end of March the public sector had 1.36 million employees, 36,000 employees lower than the number registered in December 2008. Jeffrey Franks, the head of the mission that evaluates the IMF agreement with Romania, stated before his departure that the number of public sector employees should drop in the following years by 250,000, a figure similar to the number of public sector employees hired from 2006 to 2008.

Cutting the public sector salaries by 25 per cent starting on June 1, a measure agreed with the IMF, will lead to approximately RON 7 bln in savings, according to the budget data for Q1. This year’s expenditures stand at approximately RON 39 bln, a sum that the Government has to keep unchanged in 2011 too.

Gov’t to close 150 hospitals by year’s end

The government will lower the number of hospital beds by 9,200 and won’t renew functioning authorisations for at least 150 of the least efficient hospitals by the end of this year, under a letter of intention agreed between the Romanian government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Also, the executive shows it will launch a structural reform programme in the medical care sector, which supposes pharmaceutical product cost cuts. On the other hand, Health Minister Cseke Attila described putting a ‘lock to the hospital gate’ and laying off medical staff, who is scarce already, as untimely, adding the ministry has not advanced any figures on hospital closures. “Decentralisation needs to be implemented, with hospitals up to the decision by the local community, the citizen that is,” Cseke said in a press release, adding that a number of hospitals will be reorganised, where needed, into social assistance centres, homes for the elderly or other forms to answer the needs of local communities.

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