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România Liberâ - Romania | Tuesday, January 18, 2011

No more patriotism when it comes to chest pains

In recent months several prominent personalities in Romania have been treated in hospitals in Vienna, including President Traian Băsescu. Writing for the daily România Liberă Nicolae Prelipceanu wishes more money was being invested in Romania's public health system instead: "Patriotism ends when your own life is at stake. Up to that point you stand by your country. … But if you have pains in the chest or elsewhere, that's it – you flee to Vienna. Perhaps it seems cynical to talk in this way of sick people, some of whom like the Metropolitan Bartolomeu of Cluj have reached an advanced age. I don't want to be misunderstood: I wish a speedy recovery to all those who travel to Vienna because of serious diseases. I wish the same for all those who don't have the money or the connections to go there and instead have to stay here and join the endless queues at medical practices. The longer they have to wait for a life-saving treatment, the more their hopes dwindle. I therefore fear that the more chances there are of healing in Vienna, the less there are of things changing for those who have to stay here."

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