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October 5, 2022

Orthopaedist Gheorghe Burnei to remain under conditional bail, Bucharest Court of Appeals decides in final ruling

Orthopaedist Gheorghe Burnei will remain under conditional bail, after Bucharest Court of Appeals magistrates rejected his request to have the measure lifted. The ruling is final. The orthopaedist told magistrates that three weeks ago he was given permission to work in private clinics but he cannot do so because there are no conditions, and asked them to allow him to go back to his former job and teaching activity because he has no way to support himself otherwise.

Burnei asked the court to rescind the conditional bail measure and implicitly to allow him to return to his former job at the Marie Curie Hospital, but also to his teaching activity. The magistrates rejected his request.

The physician, who is accused of several counts of passive bribery, pointed out on Tuesday, before Bucharest Court of Appeals judges, that he never asked anyone for anything and that children’s parents offered him money out of their own initiative and that parents still stop him on the street asking him to operate on their children.

His lawyer pointed out that the doctor tried to work in private clinics, against the backdrop in which hundreds of former patients of his have been on waiting lists for seven months.

“Hundreds of patients from the Maire Curie Children’s Hospital have remained on the waiting list for 7 months. In light of the recent Constitutional Court decision, we can no longer talk about 22 passive bribery counts but about a single one. Dr. Burnei can no longer influence the witnesses, their statements are video recorded and included in the dossier. We ask for the conditional bail terms modified, in the sense of allowing him to work in a state-owned hospital, considering that he can’t exercise his profession as university professor either. The number of paediatrician orthopaedists is low in Romania and the social echo of the initial guilty acts has significantly died down,” lawyer Eliza Ene Corbeanu stated.

In response, the prosecution deemed that the request should be rejected, since Burnei’s return at the Marie Curie Hospital would be an insult for his former hospital colleagues. The prosecution added that the physician cannot return to the place where the passive bribery acts took place, as if nothing had happened.

Gheorghe Brunei stated that his entire activity was in support of children unable to find in Romania a solution to their medical problems. “After the surgeries, the parents were exuberant and they were coming… I didn’t condition the medical act. Parents came out of their own initiative and left the money there. I didn’t ask anything from anyone. I didn’t harm anyone. I didn’t use all that money left there. I took nothing home. I could have gone to the private system or abroad but I didn’t. Now I’m under an avalanche of lawsuits. I helped the Health Insurance Office save millions of euro. For 7 months, I haven’t held classes for students. I no longer have activity, I can no longer cover expenses. I haven’t found a place to carry out my activity. Three weeks ago, I was allowed to work in private hospitals, but there are no conditions there,” Brunei pointed out.

He added that had he had an entrepreneurial spirit he would have accumulated millions of euro by now, and that he no longer knows what to do because parents come up to him on the street or in parks, asking him to perform surgery on their children.

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