MP Alexandru Rafila of the opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) said on Friday that the targets set by the government for the COVID-19 vaccination campaign will be missed, adding that Prime Minister Florin Citu is a lucky man, because without being able to reach these targets, he found that the pandemic in Romania is no longer evolving.
“First we have found out about 5 million people vaccinated on June 1, then 10.4 million people – in September, the same figure on August 1, and we’ve been spinning around some numbers. We’ve now actually found out that the purpose of vaccination was to stop the pandemic.The pandemic in Romania is evolving only sporadically, but that does not mean that missing these targets, which have been repeatedly supported by the government, will have no impact. Mr Citu surely is a lucky man. Without being able to reach any of the targets he pledged, he found that the pandemic in Romania is no longer evolving. What will happen if we get a significant number of cases in the autumn and return to a situation of personal restrictions that which will stunt the country economically and socially?” Rafila said at a news conference at the PSD headquarters.
He added that the government’s action is no sign of seriousness or consistency.
“If from a logistical point of view there is no reproaching as Dr Gheorghita [chief national coordinator of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign] did his job, from the point of view of the effective organisation of the campaign, especially communication and information, convincing the people, generating safety and trust in the government, there has been failure all over the place. There are less than 15,000 people getting vaccinated daily with their first dose, which shows that if this number of people persists throughout the year, a maximum of seven million people will get vaccinated. It is clear that the targets have not been met, nor will they be met, because inconsistency and frivolity are the things that the government is displaying over a very serious public health problem,” he added.
Establishment of Agency for Development of Health Infrastructure – creation of new “bureaucratic structure”
Rafila also said on Friday that the establishment of the Agency for the Development of Health Infrastructure, an institution introduced in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, would lead to the creation of a new “bureaucratic structure” that spends public money.
“First of all, it creates a new bureaucratic structure that spends public money, given that the Ministry of Health already has 6 state secretaries. A president of such an agency who would have legal personality and would be a credit officer means a new one. I do not understand why the duties of the Ministry of Health are transferred or want to be transferred to the agency, and in the draft emergency ordinance there is an untrue mentioning that such an agency is a conditionality in terms of receiving funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. It is untrue,” Rafila told a news conference at PSD headquarters.
He added that such an agency would “direct at its discretion” the allocation of resources, and local authorities would be forced to seek the advice that would be provided by the agency.
“The money from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) is not free money, it is money that we have to give back, we will see what the interest rate will be for this money. I do not want to believe that the proposal of the former minister of Vlad Voiculescu, through which such an agency had to establish a buffer amount of about 2 billion euros to guarantee the construction of hospitals by private operators, with their resources, but guaranteed with this fund by the Ministry of Health and later the intention was to rent these hospitals to the Ministry of Health or to the local authorities. It seems to me a difficult matter to digest both politically, socially, morally, and economically, because you cannot block 2 billion of the money from PNRR to guarantee to some private operators the construction of some hospitals, which, after that, are rented for a very long term, of 25 years, to the authorities. It is a formula that will be harmful for the Romanian state,” said Rafila.
GEO transferring a number of hospital beds from the public to the private system will have the effect of reducing funding for public hospitals
PSD MP Alexandru Rafila said on Friday that the government emergency ordinance (GEO) transferring a number of hospital beds from the public to the private system will have the effect of reducing funding for public hospitals, but also the establishment of a co-payment that many cannot afford.
“This ordinance currently increases the proportion of beds allocated to the private sector that are under contract with the National Health Insurance House. The emergency ordinance provides that the number of beds that can be contacted by private operators can increase by 10%, this is coupled with another mechanism, co-payment, i.e. patients who turn to these beds that are financed by the health insurance system will have to bear a contribution, and this contribution is no longer limited (…),” Rafila told a press conference at the PSD headquarters.
He added that a second effect of the ordinance will be to reduce funding for public hospitals.
“It is mechanism that now may have a low impact, because we are not talking about a very high percentage of beds that would impact the public system, but if this ordinance will be replicated and will lead to an increased number of beds in the private sector, then the public sector will have less funding,” Rafila said.
The PSD deputy stated that this will limit access to health services, because the number of patients who have complementary insurance or who can pay from their pocket for additional costs to the private sector is small.
Compiled from Agerpres