The protests broke out Thursday after Deputy Health Minister Raed Arafat, an opponent of health reforms proposed by the government, resigned.

Facing public pressure, Basescu decided to scrap the reforms Friday, saying he made the decision after realizing that a majority of those in the medical system opposed the change.

“The hospitals don’t want the change, the (doctors) don’t want the change and neither does the emergency health care system,” Basescu said.

Critics had argued that the proposal favored the private health care system by allowing access to government funds while the state-funded system lacks financial aid.

Over the past three days, protesters held demonstrations in major cities around Romania, including Cluj, Timisoara, Iasi and Targu Mures.  [text copyright]

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