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October 4, 2022

Colectiv fire survivors ask Premier to create emergency response mechanism for severe burn patients

A group of survivors of the October 30, 2015 ‘Colectiv’ nightclub fire who were treated abroad on Tuesday sent Premier Viorica Dancila and Health Minister Sorina Pintea an open letter, advocating the establishment of a national emergency response mechanism in the event of accidents that result in large burn victims.

“Concretely, at the meeting we hope you will grant us this week, we want to propose to you a mechanism that integrates at least the following: the transfer by default to European large burn centers, with the conclusion of protocols to this end. The centers in Belgium and the Netherlands that have treated ‘Colectiv’ victims are just a few examples, the more so as they already have well-established bilateral relations and a record of successes; an inter-institutional protocol with the National Defence Ministry (for air lifting) and the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations; a permanent emergency fund for immediate spending with the transfer of the large burn patients, or extra procedures required in specific situations (such as paying for backlog bills, so as to prevent bottlenecks or delays in the transport and admission by foreign centers of the respective patients), and for covering the costs of transfer and hospitalization operations overall, for the entire duration of the treatment and medical rehabilitation; appointing a Health Ministry official in charge of implementing, coordinating and activating this national emergency intervention mechanism that is to be triggered in the event of accidents with large burn victims,” reads the open letter signed by 21 victims of the ‘Colectiv’ fire.

“The Colectiv tragedy has shown beyond doubt, and the signatories of this letter have felt it through their own dramatic experiences, that the public medical system is unable to treat and handle large burn patients. This serious situation gets us wondering whether we are not witnessing a violation of the rights guaranteed under Article 22 (1) of the Constitution of Romania which provides that: ‘The person’s right to life, as well as the right to physical and psychological integrity are guaranteed.’ For us, the signatories of this letter, who survived the fire on the evening of October 30, 2015, your statements of November 1, 2018, whereby you admit to the inability of the Romanian state to treat severe burn patients, as well as the major risk they are subjected to in Romanian hospitals, are the best proof of your good intentions to change this state of affairs,” the signatories of the letter wrote.

“It isn’t right for a patient’s life to depend on some public servants’ (in)availability to get involved, on signatures, on inter-institutional conflicts. Clear steps, clear responsibilities, algorithms and procedures are needed,” the letter concludes.

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