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January 27, 2023

Banicioiu, Oprescu and hospital managers debated hospital funding

Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu and the General Mayor of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, had a meeting on Sunday with the managers of the nineteen hospitals managed by the Mayoralty of the Municipality of Bucharest, in order to discuss the greatest issues the hospitals are confronted with, as well as the future classification manner of these hospitals and their financing.
At the end of the meeting, the General Mayor of Bucharest pointed out that there are “excellent medical centres” in Bucharest, able to provide treatment to severe cases and thus, the patients’ trust in Bucharest hospitals is in ascension. Moreover, Oprescu mentioned that he wished for better financing of health units supported by the Mayoralty.
“I had a discussion about the hospitals found under the jurisdiction of the Mayoralty because I join my colleagues, hospital managers in their belief that an injustice is being perpetrated for a few years. These hospitals are among the few that receive the lowest financing possible, which cannot be compared even to the funding granted to city hospitals. These are the excellence centres, the clinic centres and all patients requiring special care and treatment are transferred to Bucharest. This cannot go on like this, on these budgets. And this thing has happened again and again during the last few years. The Mayoralty assumed the responsibility to pay regular bills, to support present repairs, to make up-to-day investments. We never closed any of the recent years with any debt to these health care units. (…) Now, the only fact left to discuss is how to classify hospitals belonging to the Mayoralty for the year to come and how to finance them depending on the level of classification”, Sorin Oprescu mentioned.
On this turn, the Health Minister announced that hospital managers and local authorities will be invited to discuss the changes applied in the hospitals’ system of classification.
“The discussion reached several levels: the management issues, the framework contract, the norms conceived by the Health Insurance Fund and the Ministry of Health, as well as issues registered during the current activity of Bucharest hospitals. Indeed, the overcrowding of Bucharest hospitals is determined by the tremendous confidence patients have in these health units. There are numerous transfers coming from neighbouring counties and from others as well and this is why I think that a change of classification criteria is necessary. I promised that, in the moment we will change norms and criteria, we will discuss it with all parties involved, local factors as well, but also with the managers of hospitals funded by County Council. There will be a slight change in the paradigm. Any decision we reach will be discussed with all affected parties”, the Health Minister declared.
He went on to outline that, frequently, the Bucharest hospitals overtake cases that cannot be treated by health units in the network of the Ministry of Health.
“My promise to managers was that I will not make a difference among hospitals funded by the Ministry and hospitals funded by local authorities, during my term as a Minister. I see them as complementary health units. The ones in Bucharest provide excellence and overtake a huge number of cases hospitals in the network of the Ministry of Health are unable to provide treatment to. This is why I think that the engine of change should be started by the managers of these hospitals”, Nicolae Banicioiu mentioned.
Last but not least, the discussions held by the General Mayor of Bucharest and the Health Minister with the managers of the hospitals funded by the General Mayoralty of Bucharest also focused on the necessity to extend the responsibilities of school doctors, so that, during the times children are not studying, they could overtake some of the elderly patients, too.
“We pointed out the possibility of hiring in school health care, of connecting school health care to aid provided to elderly members of the community. Obviously, there are children in schools during the morning but there could be a possibility that these elderly people in need of medical counseling and a treatment prescription could visit these doctors when there are no children in schools. This may be applied by an order issued by the Minister, so that school doctors could be granted this possibility. It will mean a closer partnership of the school with children and grandparents”, Oprescu mentioned.

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