The Romanian Ministry of Health is to receive 30 percent more funds than last year, but the debts accumulated since 2009 will make quite a big dent in the addition with close to EUR 1 billion destined for creditors’ pockets, according to a recent statement made by the Minister of Health Eugen Nicolaescu.
“Unfortunately, we won’t be able to cover all debts in full with the allotted supplements, but this will at least give us some “space to breathe” for 2014 and later,” noted Nicolaescu.
The Minister placed the level of aggregate debt for the specified period at EUR 1 billion (RON 4.5 billion). With EUR 0.7 billion (RON 3.5 billion) going right away in 2013 and another EUR 0.3 billion (RON 1 billion) left as an outstanding bill for 2014.
However, there is a silver lining to this budgetary cloud. “If the budget for 2014 matches the one in 2013, it is clear that we can pay the last portion of the debt and also run a series of programs,” said Nicolaescu.
The Minister of Health explained that debt payment is likely to open the way for a “return to normality” and to function as a means of keeping expenditure in general under control. “We pay all of [hospitals'] debts, on condition that they don’t incur any more,” pointed out Nicolaescu. “Based on our methods and on the control and transparency mechanisms that we are planning on implementing, we are going to keep spending within budget limits.”
The Ministry of Health had approximately EUR 1.21 billion (RON 5.46 billion) on its hands in 2012, accounting for 4 percent of Romania’s GDP.
Ioana Jelea, email@example.com
(photo source: sxc.hu)