Corina Cretu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, said on Thursday that EUR 150 million, destined for the construction of three regional hospitals in Romania, are still waiting at Brussels. “Not even the locations have been defined,” she said, as cited by Mediafax.
“It’s been a continuous struggle to convince the European Commission to allocate this money for three new regional hospitals, and almost a year after – in June 2015 we signed the regional operational program (ROP), which featured these hospitals. Unfortunately, the location where these hospitals will be situated doesn’t exist, not even until this hour,” said Cretu at a conference about the impact of the 2007-2013 ROP, according to Mediafax.
For the 2014-2020 period, there are EUR 500 million allotted for Romania for Health and Education, of which EUR 50 million are set for each regional hospital. “I am especially concerned with the health domain. For the next years, 280 investments are to be undergone for health units and specialized ambulatory medical care in villages and cities for 35 emergency units within the county hospitals and for three new regional hospitals,” explained Cretu.
She further added that at the moment none of the investments for the next period can be made because the infrastructure map for medical services (detailing the needs of Romanian counties and regions in terms of health) hasn’t reached the European Commission yet.
Saying that an exact evaluation of the health field needs is necessary to know where exactly to invest, Cretu also added that “it is my understanding that the government is already working with the World Bank to have these studies and it is my hope that we can start these investments as soon as possible,” as cited by Mediafax.
Another area facing a similar situation, according to the commissioner, is that of waste management. “We have EUR 380 million for developing waste management. There is no national development plan that would indicate where and how much should be invested in this area,” she said.
In response, Vasile Dancu, Minister of Regional Development and Public Administration, said that “we’ve already started negotiating regarding the locations; the locations exist. A consensus on the local plan, unfortunately, didn’t exist” but that now the placement for the three new regional hospitals has been set.
Regarding the map of needs in the health field, “I believe this will be completed by June at the latest,” stated Dancu.
Earlier today, Cretu reiterated her support for Romania’s projects in the fields of education and health, adding that “we need as many investments as possible in these fields because they represent long term solutions for the development challenges that the country is facing,” according to a statement published on her Facebook page.