Ciolos Gov’t releases “One year in office” activity report: Education, healthcare, major concerns

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A prosperous society is educated and healthy, and that is why education and healthcare have been front and centre among the Government’s concerns, reads a document called “The Ciolos Government – One year in office,” released on Thursday.

“We have placed education and healthcare front and centre among the Government’s concerns, by consistent budgetary allocations and reforms that will restore credibility of the education system and a lead to an increase in healthcare quality,” reads the document.

In the same activity report, the Government mentions having allocated resources to remove pay inequities from the education and healthcare systems.

“We have already made some pay increases and corrections: an average 15-percent pay increase in the public healthcare system – nearly 163,000 medical staff started drawing higher incomes; an average 10-percent pay increase in the public education system – 280,000 teaching staff were included. We have rebalanced pay scales so that doctors at various hospitals occupying similar positions for similar work experience will be paid the same. The same philosophy has been applied in the case of teaching staff’s pay. Pay corrections entailed a budgetary allocation of 2.6 billion lei. Remuneration for on-call doctors increased on October 1 by up to 90 percent,” reads the report.

Such discrepancies, the document says, exist all over the public sector. “Their correction as well as predictability of income increases can be secured under a uniform pay law.”

The Government also mentions it has increased the public pension computational point by 5 percent, to 871.7 lei.

The report talks about other governmental measures of 2016 in the education system, including professionalisation of public school management.

Among the measures designed to prevent school dropout, the Government mentions full reimbursement of commuting for pupils and students and the start of a pilot programme called “Hot meal for students.”

The Government also says measures have been taken to secure access of patients to treatments, to prevent a new crisis of medicines, as well as to effect gradual price decreases for off-patent drugs.

It adds it has acted to unblock the construction of hospitals, mentioning to the point the regional hospitals of Iasi, Cluj-Napoca and Craiova and the designs of hospitals built under public-private partnerships.

The Government mentions measures in the aftermath of the Colectiv club fire tragedy of 2015.

“We have extended by two years the deadline for the reimbursement of treatments to the injured of the Colectiv fire. We have also set up the possibility of advance payments of the amounts required for treatment, while improving the reimbursement methodology by eliminating some documents,” reads the activity report.

 

Care for public resources, transparence, corruption fight – responsible governance principles

 

A responsible governance with emphasis on care for the public resources, getting political cronies away from the public money, transparence toward the citizens and on the fight against corruption are the principles promoted by the current government, according to theactivity report released on Thursday called ” The Ciolos Government. One year in office.”

According to the report, “integrity is vital for the public health,” and such measures are mentioned including the commissioning of the National Agency for the Administration of the Impounded Assets and the promotion of the National Anti-corruption Strategy 2016-2020.

According to the document, depoliticising of state-run companies has entered an irreversible path.

“The selection of managers and of the members on administration and supervision boards is conducted along professional and integrity lines. The way we have defined these lines ensure sustainable development for the state-run companies. Financial as well as non-financial indices (for example the fight against corruption) strengthen the investors and consumers’ confidence in the state-run companies. We’ve decided that the state representatives on the General Shareholders Meetings will be paid no more, as such activity is seen as part of their job description. We’ve made public the situation of the board members of the majority state-owned companies and their benefits,” the report says.

It adds that the principle according to which the Romanians have a right to know what their public bosses do with the public resources, mentioning as a measure in this respect the launch of the largest platform of budgetary transparence in Europe – www.transparenta-bugetara.gov.ro – through which the citizens could learn about the outlays and receipts of 13,700 public bodies: Parliament, the Government, state-run companies, kindergartens, schools, hospitals.

The report also mentions the efforts to cut through red tape, to simplify and upgrade the state-citizen relationship.

“We’ve made palpable progress with simplifying and modernising the citizen’s relation with the administration, by setting in motion the advantages of technology. Shorter time for the payment of rates and taxes – the individuals could pay now their taxes using their banking card. The elimination of bureaucratic requirements in the relation with the Tax Administration Agency (ANAF) – income certificates and the fiscal certificates are now demanded and sent in electronic format by and to the public institutions, eliminating visits to the counter. Easier, faster access to the public services – the replacement of the notarised copies with the simple ones, certified on the spot; computerised transmission of documents, obtaining birth and ID certificates,” according to the Government’s activity report.

 

Romania scores highest economic growth in EU: 4.9pct January – September 2016

 

Romania has enjoyed this year the highest economic growth in the European Union: 5.2pct in first half-year and 4.9pct January through September, also reads the  activity report by the government released on Thursday called “The Ciolos Government. One year in office.”

“In an electoral year, we have managed to maintain the budget deficit within the limits set through the Budget Law 2016. We are now at 0.49pct of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with our target being set at 2.8pct of the GDP. Romania is currently acknowledged by the European Commission as a country free of any macroeconomic imbalances at a European level. We have reached a new threshold of borrowing costs, which signifies confidence of foreign investors in our country is on an uptrend, and the state-aid programmes and the de minimis aid initiated to back the domestic investors have been in very high demand, with some of them having their budgets supplemented in 2016,” the document specifies.

The government’s report says that as regards infrastructure, works on 160 km of motorway were unblocked, despite the situation at the Transport Ministry when tenure was taken over.

“We’ve included infrastructure among this year’s priority fields, although the situation we found at the Transport Ministry when taking over the office exceeded any disappointment: no segment of the motorway had had any construction certificate, tens of projects were blocked in the drawers and many of the contracts had being awarded with no necessary documentation,” the government adds.

According to the document, the rewriting and enforcement of the construction certificates’ procedures were re-assigned and the National Road Company (CNADNR) was reorganised, by splitting the maintenance sector from investment.