Cardiac devices scandal – and what it says about Romania’s healthcare system

Cardiac devices are, in principle, covered by the public healthcare system in Romania, meaning that they are free for Romanian patients, but their availability depends in practice to a great extent on the management of individual hospitals, as revealed by HotNews.

The Hotnews article comes after after the scandal involving medical doctor Dan Tesliu form Iasi, who allegedly asked for a bribe for implanting illegal devices, some of them taken from dead patients.

The head of the largest cardiology hospital in Romania (CC Iliescu), Gheorghe Ceausu, claims that his hospital never refused to provide a cardiac device for free to its patients. Furthermore, he accepted patients from other hospitals.

The head of the patients’ association, Vasile Barbu, claims however that “there is a gap between the real needs and what the state hospitals can purchase.”

The discrepancy between the public availability of cardiac devices (confirmed by the CC Iliescu manager) and the lack of such devices in some parts of the country can be explained by only two factors: preferential distribution of such devices and the poor management in some public hospitals.

Both scenarios are equally plausible since the public institutions in Romania are still highly politicized (hence the preferential distribution of resources) on the one hand and, on the other hand, the management of public institutions frequently favors poor management and lack of transparency – conducive to bribes and other financial frauds. 

(Photo: Erika Kavali |

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