PSD President Liviu Dragnea has publicly asked President Klaus Iohannis to urgently convene the Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) “against the backdrop of the deepening crisis of the public healthcare system,” a crisis which in his opinion risks degenerating into a national security risk.
“Given the fact that healthcare is a major component of national security, I am publicly asking President Iohannis, against the backdrop of the deepening crisis of the public healthcare system, to urgently convene the Supreme Defence Council in order to analyse the situation and propose urgent measures that would give the population the certainty that the authorities are capable of solving these problems. It’s the time for major, drastic decisions that would put the public healthcare system back within operating parameters that would answer both normal, day-to-day challenges and the challenges of any crisis. Otherwise, the situation will get out of control, with effects that are difficult to foresee,” the PSD President pointed out in a press release on Saturday.
He emphasised that after the Colectiv nightclub tragedy last year, the newborn crisis early this year, after press revelations about the counterfeiting of disinfectants used in hospitals and the government’s admission that Romanians are risking their lives in over 50 hospitals on this account, after a football player died on the football field a few hundred metres away from the country’s most important emergency hospital, “the simple resignation of the Health Minister, which at any rate is not being considered, does not help at all.”
“We are no longer facing a social problem, the situation degenerating into a national security risk,” Dragnea claimed.
Police searches target several Hexi Pharma properties and owner Dan Condrea’s home, documents seizedfrom 25 healthcare units
Romanian Police conducted searches at 25 healthcare units in Bucharest and 21 other counties, seizing evidence and documents in a criminal case that concerns the hampering of combating diseases and the counterfeiting of foodstuffs or other products, the institution informs.
Police officers specialising in the investigation of economic crimes conducted on Saturday, under the coordination of the Romanian Police’s Economic Crimes Directorate, several search and seizure operations at healthcare units located in several counties.
According to the police communiqué, the action took place as part of a criminal probe into the hampering of combating diseases (crime stipulated by Art.352 of the Criminal Code) and counterfeiting of foodstuffs or other products (stipulated by Art.357 of the Criminal Code). High Court prosecutors and Health Ministry representatives coordinated the action.
At the same time, four search warrants were enforced in Bucharest and Ilfov County, targeting the offices of a commercial company. According to Mediafax sources, the searches targeted Hexi Pharma buildings as well as the home of Hexi Pharma owner Dan Condrea. Police officers seized documents and evidence from hospitals where tests revealed lack of conformity.
Involved in the action were 152 police officers from the Economic Crimes Directorate, forensic specialists from the National Forensics Institute, economic crimes investigation officers, criminalist specialists from the Bucharest Police and the County Police Inspectorates of Alba, Arges, Bacau, Brasov, Braila, Caras-Severin, Calarasi, Cluj, Constanta, Dolj, Galati, Gorj, Iasi, Mures, Olt, Prahova, Satu Mare, Suceava, Timis, Tulcea and Valcea counties.
Prior to that, judicial sources stated for Mediafax that police officers and Health Ministry representatives seized documents from Hexi Pharma’s central headquarters in Bucharest as well as disinfectant samples from the warehouses located in Mogosoaia. The same sources stated that searches also targeted the home of Hexi Pharma owner Dan Condrea.
At the same time, police units from the Romanian Police’s Economic Crimes Directorate, along with Health Ministry representatives, went to hospitals in Bucharest and throughout the country, where initial tests had revealed lack of conformity in the case of disinfectants.
This was the first action since the start of the investigation, the searches being coordinated by the General Prosecutor’s Office.
Prosecutors started the criminal probe, in rem, into “hampering the combating of diseases” and “counterfeiting foodstuffs or other products” in the hospital disinfectants case, the General Prosecutor’s Office announced last Wednesday.
According to the aforementioned source, “a criminal case into public allegations concerning disinfectants produced by a local company and used in healthcare units has been opened on the roll of the Criminal Prosecution Section of the High Court of Justice’s Prosecutor’s Office.”
PM Ciolos asks Health Ministry to move for countrywide hospital disinfectants’ sampling starting with Sunday
Premier Dacian Ciolos asked the Health Ministry to instruct the sampling of the disinfectants used in all hospitals countrywide starting with Sunday.
“The goal is to restore confidence in the products used for disinfection in hospitals, because this is where issues arose the other day. (…) We will test the disinfection products … both the concentration and the efficiency of disinfection products, the so-called biocides,” Ciolos said at the end of a meeting of a task force called at the Victoria Palace of Government, which was also attended by the Health minister and the Interior minister, the head of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery and of the Prime Minister’s Control Body, respectively.
Ciolos also announced that the disinfectant samples from the 50 hospitals found to have used sub-standard products will reach on the same day the ICECHIM National Research Institute, assuring that the Institute will organize so as to test with priority the samples from the 50 hospitals with issues.
“Hopefully by Wednesday, by the end of the day at the latest, we have the first results of the concentration tests, at least for the 50 hospitals found with issues. Testing for the rest of the samples from the other hospitals will continue next week,” explained the Prime Minister.
He added that as far as biocide efficiency is concerned, Romania does not have public labs certified for conducting such tests. “As far as I understand there are only some private labs of the companies that produce these disinfectants. There are however two labs underway for certification, and I asked that the process be expedited,” said the Premier.
Hexi Pharma spokesperson says quality of disinfectants used in surgical units was never under question
The quality of Hexi Pharma products used in surgical units never came under question, they were never diluted and they are anyway used only in a pre-disinfection stage, company spokesperson Loredana Albu said on Saturday
“These are highly concentrated products that are then diluted by a ratio of 1 to 400 liters and which are generally used for large surfaces. When used for instruments or for the surgery unit, they are used in a pre-disinfection stage, ie another two disinfection and sterilization stages are next, after the Hexi products are applied,” said Albu.
She also stressed that the products used in surgery units have never been supplied at sub-standard concentration and expressed her confidence that in the end Hexi Pharma products will be proven as “probably the best in the market.”
Albu’s statement comes as prosecutors of the Criminal and Forensic Investigation Section of the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice conducted on Saturday searches at the Hexi Pharma offices and work points. Loredana Albu voiced her satisfaction at the searches finally taking place, so that the doubts looming over the company are finally dispelled.
“We have sealed the batches as they were rolled out, right at the beginning of the scandal, and we thank the authorities for coming. That’s what we also want, a well-regulated market with strict rules, so that we know what to do from now on, to avoid any such further incident,” she said, adding that the company immediately halted production and sent samples for two products that came under suspicion.
Health Ministry reports non-compliant disinfectants in 50 Romanian hospitals
The Health Ministry on Friday disclosed a list of 50 Romanian hospitals where non-compliant samples of disinfectants were found upon testing, following the approval of the General Prosecution Office to do so.
The ministry says in a press statement that in order to secure patient safety at the hospitals in question, administrative measures were taken to avoid any risks to the patients, including banning the use of the faulty disinfectants.
The ministry says its inspections will continue and the hospitals’ contracts with disgraced drugs company Hexi Pharma will be audited.
The nine hospitals in Bucharest City which disinfectants tested non-compliant:
* Parhon National Institute of Endocrinology
* Pantelimon Emergency Hospital
* Bucharest Clinic Emergency Hospital
* Marius Nasta Institute of Pulmonology and Phthisiology
* Sf. Stefan Hospital
* Sf. Ioan Clinic Emergency Hospital
* Dr. Ioan Cantacuzino Clinic Hospital
* Carol Davila Nephrology Hospital
* University Emergency Hospital.
There are hospitals in 22 counties which disinfectants tested non-compliant:
* Alba Iulia Emergency County Hospital
* Bacau Emergency County Hospital
* Moinesti Municipal Emergency Hospital (Bacau County)
* Brasov Children’s Clinic Hospital
* Fagaras Hospital
* Braila Integrated Centre for Palliative Medicine
* Resita Emergency Hospital
* Lehliu Gara Town Hospital (Calarasi County)
* Sapunari Psychiatric Hospital (Calarasi County)
* Calarasi Pulmonology Hospital
* Calarasi Emergency County
* Oltenita Town Hospital (Calarasi County)
* Nicolae Stancioiu Heart Institute of Cluj-Napoca
* Prof. Dr. Ion Chiricuta Oncological Instirute of Cluj-Napoca
* Pulmonary and Phthisiology Clinic Hospital (Constanta County)
* Mangalia Town Hospital (Constanta County)
* Harsova Town Hospital (Constanta County)
* Techirghiol Sanatorium and Recuperation Spa (Constanta County)
* Craiova City Philanthropic Hospital
* Calafat Town Hospital (Dolj County)
* Sf. Apostol Andrei Emergency County Clinic Hospital of Galati
* Sf. Ioan Emergency Children’s Clinic Hospital of Galati
* Bumbesti Town Hospital – Jiu (Gorj County)
* Gheorghieni Municipal Hospital (Harghita County)
* Cuza Voda Hospital of Iasi
* Socola Clinic Psychiatric Hospital of Iasi
* Emergency County Hospital of Targu Mures
* Emergency County Hospital of Piatra Neamt
* Slatina County Hospital
* Caracal Town Hospital
* Ploiesti Emergency County Hospital
* Negresti Oas Town Hospital (Satu Mare County)
* Campulung Moldovenesc Psychiatric Hospital (Suceava County)
* Siret Chronic Psychiatric Hospital (Suceava County)
* Radauti Town Hospital (Suceava County)
* Gura Humorului Town Hospital (Suceava County)
* Falticeni Town Hospital (Suceava County)
* Materna Care Maternity Hospital (Timis County)
* Tulcea County Hospital
* Dragasani Town Hospital (Valcea County)
* Horezu Town Hospital (Valcea County)
Health Ministry orders verifications of hospital contracts with disinfectant supplier
Health Minister Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu ordered on Friday the Public Health Directorates (DSPs) to check the contracts of hospitals with the Hexi Pharma company, a supplier of disinfectants. The Health Ministry mentions in a release that it has also asked the support of Ministry of Internal Affairs to check the contracts with this company.
Another video conference with the county DSPs was held at the ministry on Friday, to discuss the next steps of verifications on biocides used in hospitals, on the coordination of the General Prosecutor’s office.
Inquiries of the control bodies of the Health Ministry and of the Government have been announced following some media investigations on Hexi Pharma’s products, allegedly not compliant with the label content of active chemicals.
President Iohannis: I’m expecting Health Ministry to come up with analysis, urgent measures
President Klaus Iohannis says partial solutions are inefficient to the major problems facing Romania’s healthcare system, calling on the Health Ministry to come up with an exact analysis and a clear plan of urgent measures.
“Repeated crises in the healthcare system proves once again the inefficiency of partial solutions to the major problems, calling for a firm intervention from those responsible for the system. I am expecting the Health Ministry to come up with an exact analysis and a clear plan of urgent measures for the situation in the healthcare system following the publication of a list of the hospitals where problems have been detected with disinfectants,” Iohannis says in a statement published on his Facebook page.
DIICOT says complaint filed, not on possible criminal activity of Hexi Pharma
The Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) claims that the criminal complaint filed against the owner of Hexi Pharma, Dan Condrea, does not refer to a possible criminal activity of this company.
The DIICOT statement comes after media published information according to which Dan Condrea’s ex-wife had filed a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office of the Bucharest Court in which she speaks of “money laundering” in Hexi Pharma and the fact that Dan Condrea used violence against her. This complaint was sent to the DIICOT, which did not conduct checks and returned it to the petitioner because the wording form did not comply with the criminal law.
In the release issued on Friday, the DIICOT shows that it conducts its activity exclusively in accordance with active legal norms within its competence limits, no matter the name of the person filing the complaint or against whom it is filed.
ActiveWatch asks parliamentary committee on SRI overisght to check service relation with Hexi Pharma
ActiveWatch media and human rights watchdog is asking Parliament’s joint committee on the oversight of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) to inquire into SRI’s relation with Hexi Pharmaspital company.
In a letter to the parliamentary committee, ActiveWatch is demanding the following checks: whether or not SRI has opened in the past five years any investigation in the activities of Hexi Pharma and the related company group; whether or not SRI has informed any of the relevant authorities on its findings; whether or not there is any economic connection between SRI’s activity and the Hexi Pharma companies or any of the companies working in connection with Hexi Pharma.
According to the letter, the request is made “based on data provided to the public by investigative journalists regarding the business of a group of companies – among which the most frequently mentioned is Hexi Pharma – suspected of several criminal offenses, which seems to have seriously endangered the health of the population in 40 counties in Romania for several years.”
Moreover, ActiveWatch also mentions that part of the misdeeds notified were the object of investigations conducted by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, prosecutors’ offices and the Directorate for Organised Crime and Terrorism Investigation, but “the investigations were concluded with no consequence.”
The letter also shows that the requests sent to the parliamentary committee also take into account “the inefficiency of any legality control of the activity of this group of companies.”