PM Ciolos regarding 2017 budget: We continue focus on realistic 4pct economic growth; 3pct budget deficit

Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos has stated that the drawing up of the draft budget for 2017 still features a “realistic economic growth” of over four percent and a budget deficit of under three percent.

Asked at Digi 24 private broadcaster what are the macro figures that the draft budget for 2017 uses as a basis, Ciolos answered: “We are still going on a realistic economic growth, from the analyses and prognoses we have, of over 4 percent and a budget deficit of under 3 percent.”

Furthermore, Prime Minister Ciolos said the calculations take into account the expenditures set into place by some laws that are in force.

“And we are taking into account some set figures or set expenditures which are given by some laws that are in force and some decisions that were taken,” Ciolos also said.


“The healthcare system, a healable wound”


The healthcare system is a “healable wound”, said Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, on Sunday, at Digi 24 private broadcaster, showing that there are problems to solve that have been until now disregarded.

“I am looking with great responsibility upon what we’re doing and the manner in which we are communicating, because I don’t want the idea that the whole healthcare system, or that all doctors are corrupt setting in. We have problems to correct, problems that have accumulated because they’ve been swept under the rug, because our national ambition wanted to prove that things go smoothly all the time without tending the wounds when needed. Now, all of a sudden, all the pus is starting to seep. It’s a healable wound. We don’t need to throw the whole organ out, but heal it and create the premises for those who do their job fairly,” said Ciolos.

He showed that the “hospital envelope” (e.n. – referring to the practice of handing gratuities to doctors in envelopes) can be a form of corruption, but mentioning that he did not have the occasion to make use personally of the practice, only people close to him.

“The hospital envelope, I believe, can be a form of corruption, because it’s a system to remunerate doctors that is getting out of hand. I didn’t have the occasion to do it, but I have people close to me who, yes, have done it. What should I tell them? That was the practice. When you’re thinking short term and you’re thinking of the health of someone close to you, you have one type of analysis, when you’re thinking from the point of view of the person responsible for reforms in the system, you have a wholly different analysis. Clearly this is not a solution in the medium-term,” Ciolos added.

The Prime Minister also said that the Government has started reform in healthcare with doctor wages.

“I think it would be pretentious to say that we have made reform in healthcare. A beginning for reform, yes. From our point of view, we have approached these matters coherently in the wage part too where we didn’t increase salaries by I don’t know how much percent, but we came with a correction in the wage tables and we eliminated inequities in the healthcare wage system. We came for the first time and clarified the pay for on-call duty that doctors perform at a reasonable level. The [Health] Minister came with a plan for human resources for the next years in order to ensure that doctors remain in the country or in order to recruit new doctors and nurses. On healthcare infrastructure we have a vision and we have started some things. On the hospital management side we came with some elements for reform and we learnt some things from the lessons (…) after Colectiv – we modified the legislation regarding nosocomial infections,” Ciolos explained.


“If things go to plan, Pitesti-Sibiu highway should be done by 2021”


Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos has announced, on Sunday, at Digi24 private broadcaster, that the Pitesti-Sibiu highway will be finalized in 2012, if things go according to plan.

“If things go as we have planned, until 2021 it should be ready [e.n. – the Pitesti-Sibiu highway]. Until the end of this year we will complete the feasibility studies for 3 of the 5 parts and we’re launching auctions for the technical project (…) after which construction will follow. On the other two, more complex, parts we will finish the feasibility studies next year in May after which the auction for constructions will be launched,” Ciolos said.

He added that auctions will be launched for all priority projects mentioned in the Transport Master Plan, mentioning in this sense the Targu Mures-Iasi highway, as well as the Pitesti-Craiova highway.

Asked of the Comarnic-Brasov highway, Ciolos explained that in this case “the auctioning of the contract phase was not completed because there were no contracting operators that would use the set price and take into account the complexity of the works.”

“I don’t know if it will be done [e.n. – the Comarnic-Brasov Highway]. To be honest, I didn’t focus on this part. I focused on Sibiu-Pitesti and the completion of Lugoj-Deva, on what is going to be in Transylvania,” Ciolos added.


On Uniform Pay Draft Law: Increases firstly in small wages


The wage increases provided for in the Uniform Pay draft law target firstly small wages, while the Prime Minister’s wage will decrease, Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos announced.

“We have planned an increase starting with next year and until 2021. In the first years higher increases will go to small wages and then large wages will increase, exactly in order to restore balance and bring equity (…). I already saw that after the draft law was published, the wages of the President, the Prime Minister, Ministers, State Secretaries, etc. are published. The salaries will not increase, the Prime Minister’s wage will actually decrease as compared to what it is now, exactly to bring them in line. The increases are primarily for small wages,” said Prime Minister Ciolos, on Sunday, at private broadcaster Digi 24.

Asked what budgetary impact the implementation of this law will have in 2017, Ciolos answered: “On one hand, we have what we decided through Emergency Ordinance 20, which means an impact of around 2.6 billion lei, (…) for the increases for doctors or for the healthcare system, for professors and some rebalancing in administration, to which from next year (…) there would be another billion and a bit that would be added (…). It’s not important how much you increase next year, important is that at the end, in 2021, we will have balance.”

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