PRAGUE – Babis faces criticism over bad crisis management

Czech media reported that general practitioners (GPs), dentists but also doctors in hospitals and other health care workers face severe lack of protective equipment despite the government’s claims that they have enough materials to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

While Prime Minister Andrej Babiš apologised for the current situation for the first time on Tuesday (17 March) but emphasised that nothing more could be done as delivery contracts had been cancelled, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch started to blame hospitals for not ensuring protective equipment by themselves.

However, website Neovlivni.cz reported that the Czech government should be held responsible for equipment shortages since it had decided to centralise all purchases of medical equipment and banned distributors to directly provide hospitals with the equipment.

PM Babiš also criticised the fact that only 10.000 respirators were in state material reserves. However, only the PM, his health and finance minister (all from the same party, ANO) could have influenced the number of respirators available in the state reserves.

Now, the Czech Republic has to rely on health equipment being delivered from China.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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