ECONOMY FINANCE&BANKING

In letter to Gov’t, EU Commissioner Corina Cretu demands clarifications on delays concerning regional hospitals

European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu, on Monday sent a letter to Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, asking her to communicate to Brussels, the Bucharest Government’s official stand with respect to the current status of the three regional hospitals in Iasi, Cluj and Craiova.

According to the European Commission’s Representation Office in Romania, Corina Cretu also asked the Romanian authorities to provide a series of clarifications to the EC on the measures that it intends to take to avoid additional delays in the launch of the construction works at the three regional hospitals.

“As I already underscored in the letter that I sent you ever since April 25, 2018, for me and for the European Commission supporting the building of the three regional hospital is number one priority. Therefore, it is essential to accelerate the preparation of projects and improve the orientation and coordination of the relevant ministries (the Ministry of Healthcare, the Ministry of Public Finance, the Ministry of European Funds and the Ministry of Regional Development). Even though progresses were recorded in respect to the preparation of the feasibility studies, the assessment of the environmental impact and the strengthening of the administrative capacity of the Implementation Unit of the projects within the Ministry of Healthcare, the general calendar is still unclear and time is pressuring us,” Corina Cretu stated in her letter to the Romanian PM, according to the EC Representation Office in Romania.

Moreover, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy believes that it’s necessary for the deadlines to be observed along with the three phases of project implementation – building, dismantling or remaking the older installations, depending on the case, and training the staff – all three to be done simultaneously.

“Therefore, the European Commissioner Corina Cretu asked the Romanian authorities to present a clear planning and to validate in the shortest time possible both the contingency plan for the entire project and the deadlines, which should be communicated to the Commission as soon as possible,” the European Commission Representation Office in Bucharest mentions.

The European Commissioner also mentioned “three critical aspects” that need to be approached by the Romanian authorities before submitting the application for the major project regarding the three regional hospitals to the EC: “the financing deficit of approximately 1.2 billion euro, according to the estimations of the European Investment Banks; the revision of the financing model for the three regional hospitals, once they are in-service, in order to ensure the necessary adjustments with respect to the financing mechanisms, so that the new investments should cover for the expected operational costs,” and, not last, the fact that “the project needs to meet the objectives of the national strategy for health at national and local level, and the medical assistance regional plans and healthcare masterplans for the three regions.”

According to the EC Representation Office in Bucharest, in the letter addressed to the Romanian PM, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy specified the fact that the services of the European Commission already offer technical assistance to the Ministry of Healthcare, while reiterating, at the same time, her personal commitment, and those of the DG REGIO services to further support the Romanian authorities in building the three regional hospitals in the current financial exercise, including through the mobilization of additional assistance where is the case.

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