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What the newspapers say: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

de C.B.     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 24 februarie 2010, 2:36 English | Press Review

In a secret letter to the International Monetary Fund, the Romanian Government promises redundancies and new taxes. Elsewhere in the news, Bulgarians want a hydra-electric power station on the Danube in partnership with Romania. Last but not least, Patients with a medical insurance in need for a medical device need to wait up to a year to get them in Romania.

In a secret letter to the International Monetary Fund, the Romanian Government promises redundancies and new taxes, Gandul reads, quoting a document obtained by Romanian news agency Mediafax. According to the intention letter, Boc Cabinet wants to introduce new taxes for patients in hospitals, so that the Health system would not go bankrupt. Gandul reads that the Romanian state owes drugs and medical technology suppliers alone over 546 million lei. Government representatives state in the letter the intention to cut half a billion euros from state employees’ salary budget in 2010.

This might mean 32,000 redundancies and the cut of benefits and awards for the remaining staff to save 252 million euros, Gandul estimates. The letter reads that Romania needs to save 0.2% of the GDP with staff salaries, implement co-payments in the Health system and reduce the debts older than 90 days to the private sector below 60%. The total amount that the state owed the private sector in 2009 comes to 2.67 billion lei. The worst payers are the local administrations and the highest sums need to go to constructors.

As for the Health sector, the co-payments system entails that people will not have unlimited access to consultations. 600 lei per annum should cover basic medical assistance and GP visits. A GP visit would cost 5 lei and a consultant visit, 200. Business owners owe the state a total of two billion euros. On the other hand, the state's debt to the state is practically unknown.

Bulgarians want a hydra-electric power station on the Danube in partnership with Romania, Romania Libera informs. The EU might come up with the money, the publication goes on. In the '80s, Romanians aimed to finance the construction of the Turnu Magurele hydra-electric power station (south Romania) from the first to the last penny. The hydra-electric power station that Romania intends to build in partnership with Bulgaria might be facilitated by EU funds, Romanian state secretary in the Economy, Commerce and Business Environment Ministry Tudor Serban declared on Tuesday, February 23 2010.

The sites considered for constructions are Macin, Turnu Magurele and Calarasi. Hydro-energy specialists claim that the best region for the project is Turnu Magurele, more precisely Islaz. The project dates back in 1985, when communist leaders Nicolae Ceausescu (Romania) and Todor Jivkov (Bulgaria) cut the red tape of the future hydra-electric power station from Turnu Magurele - Nicopole construction site. In 1990, after the fall of communism in East Europe, the site was closed and the utilities sold. Romania aimed to secure energetic independence, with Bulgaria still having projects with the USSR.

Patients with a medical insurance in need for a medical device - wheel chairs, crutches, prosthesis etc. - need to wait up to a year to get them in Romania, according to Evenimentul Zilei. These devices may be paid partially or completely by insurance companies or through Health Ministry programmes. But patients resorting to the latter option need to wait for months to get the devices they need immediately.

In Bucharest for examples, authorities are currently solving requests submitted in April or May, 2009, while in Iasi (N-E) or Constanta (S-E), they have only updated to 2008. Even a request for mere crutches tests the patient of the ill. Many prefer to buy the devices themselves, if they can afford, due to the thick bureaucracy. The demand is higher than what the state makes available and so the lists become constantly longer.
























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