European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu told a news conference in Bistrita on Friday that Directorate General Environment of the European Commission is preparing bringing Romania before the European Court of Justice over waste management.
“There are big problems with waste management. DG Environment is already preparing to bring this case before the European Court of Justice because, unfortunately, 90 percent of waste in Romania is improperly collected. There are 370 million euros for this area, but we do not know where and how to invest the money because (…) we do not have this map of needs in the waste management area,” said Cretu.
Last autumn, the European Commission warned Romania about waste management since there are illegal waste deposit facilities that can affect human health and the environment.
Corina Cretu and deputy PM Vasile Dincu on Friday visited both the emergency hospital in Bistrita and its specialist outpatient care unit called the polyclinics, both recipients of governmental and European funds for upgrading and expansion.
“Healthcare system, still critical in Romania”
Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu told a news conference in Bistrita that the healthcare system is still one of Romania’s critical sectors that might urgently need some of the European funds available to the country in 2014-2020.
“Unfortunately, the healthcare system is still one of Romania’s critical sectors. The European Commission’s 2016 country report on Romania confirms that there is a deficiency in the healthcare system of Romania and there are also discrepancies in the system’s development among various regions of the country. We are in a permanent conversation, conducting permanent cooperation with Romania and we have recently talked with Mr Deputy Prime Minister Dincu so that we may start off all the projects, including in the healthcare area. Structural and investment funds will continue as an important source to finance the development and modernisation of the healthcare system,” Cretu said.
Cretu also mentioned the intention of the European Commission to support over the next four years the start of 280 healthcare projects in Romania on European funds as well as to create regional hospitals and upgrade emergency care units.
“In our joint plans approved by the European Commission and the Romanian Government, we intend, to support, in 2016-2020, 280 healthcare projects for local communities, 35 emergency units at county hospitals – including one in Bistrita – and three regional hospitals. But the existence of these funds is not sufficient; you know perfectly well that we are expecting the national and local administrations to secure all the conditions for the conduct of the investment projects before the projects start,” said Cretu.
She added that 75 percent of public investment projects in Romania are carried out on European funds, and that is why “development is not possible without speeding up the implementation of projects on European funds.”
Deputy PM Dincu: Gov’t to focus resources on healthcare, education
Deputy Prime Minister Vasile Dincu told a news conference on Friday in Bistrita that in the next six months, the Government will focus its resources on healthcare and education, because the two are investment and not costs.
“Healthcare is one of the priorities personally undertaken by the prime minister, and we will put forth very shortly a series of measures to clear the roadblocks to many areas in the healthcare sector, and we will also pool up our resources for healthcare and education. We have realised that healthcare and education are not costs, but investment, the most important investment into the future,” said Dincu.
On a visit to the Bistrita Emergency County Hospital, accompanying European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu, Dincu said the healthcare crisis is a management crisis at central administration level, more reason, he added, to speed up decentralisation.
“The healthcare crisis is first of all a management crisis at the level of the central management. I know we will be successful with our local administration reform; my only worries regard the possibilities of modernising the central administration. (…) Powers are distributed locally more than centrally, and we can see that national programmed are plagued with problems the healthcare area as well. That strengthened my conviction that decentralisation is urgent, that it has to be carried through, and we have to strengthen our confidence in Romania,” said Dincu.
He added he hopes the axes for healthcare projects will open this autumn, although their guides are still being worked on.