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July 28, 2021

Essential medicines, priority of new Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu

One of the priorities of the newly appointed Public Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu is to ensure the essential medicines.

“The first thing would be the essential medicines, (…) which according to the World Health Organisation refer to the cheap medicines that existed on the market in the last 10, 20, 30, sometimes 40 years. (…) There is no doubt as to their efficiency and their cost effectiveness. Many years ago, I myself have suffered from such drug shortages in hospitals, of a lack of medicines for people in critical condition,” the minister told at his first news conference since taking over the healthcare portfolio.

He added that he had several meetings with the president of the National Medicines and Medical Devices Agency and that he hopes a real progress will be attained in the following weeks in this respect.

“There must be a solution based on rules and clear procedures and also very importantly it should be transparent so that the patients, the physicians, the hospital managers and the media be able to pursue these issues and see where the problem is and ask for its urgent solving, because things are extremely urgent,” said Voiculescu, according to Agerpres.

According to him, investments are very important especially because the infrastructure is very old.

“We talk for a long time about the nosocomial infections and we know that a part of the matter were the biocides. (…) A part of the problem is the old infrastructure. When I say infrastructure, I say hospitals, in particular, that were erected in the ’70s or even before. Hospitals that are endangering the patients’ life, alongside the life of the physician, too and the medical staffs and their families,” said the Health Minister.

He brought to the media attention that through the Regional Operational Programme, Romania has 150 million euro to build three regional hospitals in Cluj, Iasi and Craiova.

Another investment programme is the one with the World Bank, since 2014, which must be unblocked. “Some 180 million euro are available for investments,” he detailed.

Another point as regards the investments is referring to the two Bucharest hospitals in public-private partnership, the ‘Marie Curie’ Children Hospital – where an extension of the current building is to be built – and the ‘C.C. Iliescu’ Hospital – where the almost collapsing building is to be replaced, said Voiculescu.


Voiculescu says some biocides to be purchased in centralized system


Some biocides will be purchased in a centralized manner, meaning they will not be bought directly by the hospitals, says the new health minister Vlad Voiculescu, who replaced last Friday Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu upon a hospital disinfectants row .

“It’s a joint specification to be issued by the National Public Procurement Agency (ANAP) and to be used by everybody, by all hospitals. (…) At the Public Health Ministry we have a unit we are very proud of, namely the Centralized Public Procurement Unit (UAPC). The unit has only a few medicines, right now it is purchasing in a public centralized manner some medicines and medical equipment. In the weeks and months to come, we shall significantly expand this list. The biocides are also on our analysis list. Some biocides will be purchased on a centralized level, so we shall not have any contracts agreed on hospital level. For the hospitals that are not subordinated to the Health Ministry we could be able to regulate certain matters through this specification,” Voiculescu said on Wednesday in his first press conference since taking office.

Voiculescu mentioned that the services are not part of the centralized public procurement this unit is to take care of.

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