Romanian healthcare under fire after child deaths

Most Romanians are unhappy with the services provided by the public health system | Photo: clipa TV

Parents and relatives of more than 40 children diagnosed with a serious digestive infection are planning to sue the Romanian state, claiming authorities are responsible for the deaths of three of them. Nine others are still hospitalized.

“Someone has to come up with an answer to what happened to these babies. Someone has to take responsibility for the death of my granddaughter,” said Alexandru Anghel, one of the relatives.

Anghel, as the grandfather of one of the babies who died, said he and the parents are in the process of creating an association that will sue the state and seek compensation.

They claim that doctors at hospitals in Arges, southern Romania, failed to provide proper treatment for children suffering from acute diarrhoea.

The children were then transferred to a hospital in Bucharest, where doctors diagnosed them with a severe form of haemolytic uraemic syndrome.

The Prime Minister’s Review Body announced on Wednesday that it will check how medical care has been provided to the children and the causes of their illness.

“The control aims to verify the medical procedures carried out in Arges and Bucharest, the speed with which medical assistance was granted and the way in which the epidemiological investigation was carried out”, indicates a press release from the body. control.

Health Minister Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu defended the doctors, saying they had done “everything they deemed appropriate at the time… We will apply sanctions if only the obvious mistakes made by the doctors are disclosed”.

The minister’s late reaction was criticized by many, with media saying on Thursday that Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos was now planning to sack Achimas-Cadariu.

The Romanian healthcare system faces many challenges, mainly in areas outside the big cities. Most rural hospitals lack doctors, nurses and medicines and depend on outdated or even defective equipment.

Romania is also suffering from a growing shortage of personnel in the health sector, with more doctors leaving the system than entering the profession, officials say.

Polls show that around 90% of Romanians are unhappy with the services provided by the public health system.

Many attribute the system’s problems to inefficient management, while 42% believe a lack of liquidity is to blame.

Helen D. Jessen