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May 19, 2022
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New controls in hospitals in diluted disinfectants scandal

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry ordered controls at the Bucharest Oncologic Institute (IOB). The controls will look into the procurement contracts that IOB signed with Hexi Pharma, the company that produces the diluted disinfectants used in hospitals.

“The Health Ministry has ordered the Audit Body to carry out today, May 3, an investigation into the procurement contracts that the Bucharest Oncologic Institute signed with the company that produces the disinfectants concerned, but also with other companies, contracts that might be related to the investigation in the biocides case,” a Health Ministry press release shows.

The representatives of the institution point out that the results of the Audit Body’s investigation will be sent to the Prosecutor General, who took notice ex officio about the scandal concerning the diluted disinfectants whose active substance concentration is up to ten times lower, disinfectants sold by Hexi Pharma to hundreds of Romanian hospitals.

Dan Straja, manager of the Bucharest Oncologic Institute, stated on Tuesday at a press conference that he hopes that the Health Ministry’s audit will “reveal the reality, not tales.” “I suspect they will come and conduct the control starting tomorrow. It is welcome because this way we can clarify certain controversial aspects that have appeared in the press,” Straja added.

In what concerns the scandal in which Hexi Pharma is involved, Eugen Baltaretu, responsible for the Institute’s public procurement procedure, explained that the company’s products are used “for large surfaces and several other stuff.” “Other products from a different company are used for the final disinfection,” he stated.

Likewise, the document shows that Health Minister Patriciu Achimas Cadariu is considering “expanding the investigation into the contract awarding and procurement procedures in other hospital units too.”

This comes after the Health Ministry ordered controls in several hospitals last week. The results of those controls will be presented on Wednesday, at a videoconference with Public Health Directorates.

The scandal started after journalist Catalin Tolontan published on his website an investigation according to which the disinfectants sold by Hexi Pharma to hospitals have concentration levels that are lower than those on their labels. Subsequent lab tests showed that the concentration level is ten times lower.

In this context, Health Minister Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu announced that controls have been ordered, while Hexi Pharma has started an internal investigation. At the same time, the Prosecutor General has taken note ex officio.

 

PM Ciolos: I’ve asked HealthMin Cadariu to urgently clarify hospital disinfectant issue

 

Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Tuesday met Health Minister Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu, who presented to him the latest developments into an inquiry in disinfectants for hospitals, and asked the minister to urgently clarify this issue of sanitary safety.

“I’ve met Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu today at the Government House to discuss a series of problems facing the healthcare system. Minister Cadariu introduced me to the latest developments in the inquiry into disinfectants for hospitals and I asked him to urgently clarify this problem of sanitary safety so that the patients may trustfully go to the hospitals in the public healthcare system,” Ciolos said Tuesday in a Facebook post.

He added that he also asked the health minister to unveil as soon as possible and in a systematic way the stages so far in this case.

“The health minister informed me on the measures so far, and I asked him to unveil as soon as possible and in a systematic way the administrative stages so far in this case, and also to continue the inquiries and makes sure the patients’ lives are out of danger,” said Ciolos.

He added that healthcare is a vital area for which he will not accept half measures.

“As far back as the start of my term in office, I made healthcare the utmost priority on my and my Government’s agenda, and I can assure all citizens that I will not tolerate half measures in this vital area,” said Ciolos.

He added that the health minister on Wednesday will make public the first conclusions of the disinfectant inquiry will be made public.

 

Ciolos surprised to learn Romania has no certified lab to test disinfectants quality

 

Premier Dacian Ciolos announced on Tuesday that, following the talks he had with Health minister Patriciu Achimas Cadariu on the disinfectants used in hospitals, he was ”surprised” to learn that Romania does not have a certified laboratory to test these substances.

“From the discussion I had with [the Health minister] I learned with surprise that in Romania we don’t have a certified laboratory capable to formally and officially carry out such tests and, unfortunately, the Ministry of Health cannot make decisions without a relevant control performed, or without results from a certified laboratory. I asked Mr. minister to take as quickly as possible the necessary steps to make available such analyses by a certified laboratory and to inform the public about all the instructed measures,” Ciolos said at the Military Club Palace before attending an event.

 

Number of Jan – April hospital checks twice as high as in 2014 and 2015

 

The Health Ministry said that the number of hospital checks conducted by health inspectors in the first 4 months of this year was double compared to the same period of 2014 and 2015.

Thus, whilst in 2014 the sanitary inspectors conducted 356 checks, in 2015 their number was 407 and in 2016 it reached 870.

According to a Health Ministry release, the duration of the checks increased significantly, with inspections and repeat inspections performed in 2016 spanning three months (January to March).

“We mention that these checks envisaged both public and private hospitals regardless of whether they are under the administration of the Health Ministry or of local authorities, and they are carried out in all hospital departments and wards,” the Health Ministry said.

In 2016, health inspectors slapped 6 times as many fines as compared to the same period last year – whereas in 2015 there were 83 fines ordered, in 2016 their number increased to 571. The amount of the fines also increased about 5-fold, from 104,605 lei in 2015 to 501,500 lei in 2016.

Also in 2016 the Health minister sent the Control Corps on more verification missions as to the same period of 2014 and 2015.

“The sanitary inspectors will continue their inspection and repeat inspection actions at every established deadline to see that the instructed measures were duly implemented and observed. By the end of 2016 all county public health departments and the Bucharest public health department will send the Sanitary State Inspection monthly reports on the results of the repeat inspections, to keep the health care facilities under monitoring,” the Health Ministry also said.

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