Dan Barna: Planned National Agency for Health Infrastructure Investments does not add to bureaucracy

Deputy Prime Minister and USR PLUS Co-Chairman Dan Barna said today at the end of the meeting of the formation's National Bureau that the planned National Agency for Health Infrastructure Investments "does not add to bureaucracy" because it will be created by reorganizing an existing structure of the Health Ministry. "This proposal is very clearly stated in the governing agenda, which is not and cannot be subject of negotiation. Of course, we are willing to bring clarifications if necessary, but this agency is clearly necessary and very important. (...) It does not add to bureaucracy, it does not render the system more difficult or complicated, we are simply discussing the reorganization of a structure that currently exists within the Health Ministry and which has proven non-functional. We will detail the subject in the coalition meeting, it hasn't been discussed so far inside the coalition for this very simple reason: it is one of the goals pledged by this governing coalition," Barna said in a press statement at the Palace of the Parliament. He mentioned that the agency's task is to make possible investments in health infrastructure, because in the current operating structure, the Health Ministry does not have the necessary capacity. "The agency is aimed at making possible investments in health infrastructure, specifically its mission is to make possible the construction of hospitals in Romania. We are looking at those regional hospitals we have been talking about since 2014 and see that the usage of the European funds available for regional hospitals stands at just 5 percent, which shows very clearly that with the current operating structure, the Health Ministry doesn't have the necessary project management capacity for building hospitals," Barna said. According to the USR PLUS leader, the creation of the National Agency for Health Infrastructure Investments is supported by the European Commission and, should it not be set up, there is a risk that the resources provided under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) or operational programs remain unspent. "We have to accept this reality: the Health Ministry with its 250-strong team has proven that it lacks the capacity to act as a project manager for regional hospitals or important health infrastructures, therefore we have to adapt, because with the current structure we risk not being able to spend the resources under both PNRR and the operational programs," said Barna. "If we want to lose another year and a half or two years, we can definitely make it in 2023. But the later we set it up, the farther our chance to absorb the resources for hospital construction fades. It's as simple as that, that is, the agency should be up and running next week, exactly for those tenders, those procurement procedures to kick off," he argued. AGERPRES (RO - author: Irinela Visan, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - editor: Simona Klodnischi)

Continue reading on: