Romanian Hospitals- The anatomy of a complete disaster

Protesters in Romania holding signs that say: “You have diluted our health”. Photo taken by Vadim Ghirda.

Shocking revelations regarding in-hospital infections with nosocomial bacteria in Romania have shaken the nation. A staggering number of 2.600 cases of infections have been reported between 1st of March and 30th of September in 2020 as patients were not properly cared for.

This is an overwhelming issue that has been going on in Romania even before the pandemic started; patients died from a mixture of the aggressiveness of viral pneumonia caused by COVID-19 and infectious bacterial bronchopneumonia which is contracted from medical institutions after hospitalization.

Photo: Unsplah

“Before my mother fell ill I thought that all those cases of people with nosocomial infections contracted after being hospitalized, which I had seen on TV so many times before were just some unfortunate instances, said Velicu Magdalena, a resident from Onesti, Romania.

 “However, I came to confront myself with the gloomy reality in the hard way in 2018, when my mother died of bacterial endocarditis within only 3 months after a brief stint in hospital, the first time in Onesti, my native town and shortly after in Bacau. It was then that I came down to earth, realizing that it is much better to steer clear of hospitals in Romania, as they kill you rather than treat you”.

This controversial issue dates back to Colectiv, one of Romania’s deadliest nightclub fire in Bucharest that killed 64 people and injured 146. The situation of these patients worsened because of the nosocomial infections that they contracted from the hospital; since then, not many things have changed in Romania’s faulty healthcare system.

“Nosocomial infections first came to the attention of the entire country after the fire from Colectiv. Until then, nothing was ever discussed about this issue”, said Vlad Mixich, an expert in the politics of health.

Photo: Guliver/GettyImages

Romanians have also been horrified by a major medical fraud scandal in which an important pharmaceutical company reportedly diluted disinfectants that were used to clean hospital wards for many years; as a consequence, a lot of people got infected and this is believed to be one of the main reasons of these hospital infections.

Photo: Unsplash

A project was initiated by USR members of the parliament in order to prevent and reduce nosocomial infections and it was ultimately approved by the Parliament. The people from the USR political party who started this project are Tudor Pop, Emanuel Ungureanu and Adrian Wiener.

“We’ve all seen the disaster caused by these infections in the case of Colectiv as well as the testimonies from some medical staff that many patients had been infected within 48 hours of hospitalization”, said Emanuel Ungureanu, the co-author of the project. “Our aim is to make a change, step by step”.

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