Slovak health minister under pressure as COVID-19 continues to worsen

Slovak Economy Minister Richard Sulík has offered to take over the health ministry’s current Health Minister Marek Krajčí as Slovakia currently ranks worst in terms of deaths per 100,000 people. [EPA-EFE/JAKUB GAVLAK]

Slovak Economy Minister Richard Sulík has offered to take over the health ministry from current minister Marek Krajčí as Slovakia currently ranks worst in terms of deaths per 100,000 people.

Sulík and his Freedom and Solidarity party, despite being part of the government coalition, are loud critics of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, blaming, in particular, Prime Minister Igor Matovič and Krajčí – two members of Ordinary People, the largest coalition party. 

Matovič immediately refused Sulík’s offer on the grounds that it would go against the current deal on the division of ministries among coalition parties. 

However, Sulík is not the only one talking about replacing Krejčí. Boris Kolár, the leader of We are Family – another coalition party – said this week that the government is now considering replacing the health minister. For now, Krejčí is refusing to step down as he sees no suitable replacement. 

In Slovakia, the coronavirus situation is worsening with hospitals being strained by the uptake in COVID-19 infections in the past several weeks. Doctors say they are forced to choose which of their coronavirus patients will receive artificial ventilation.

A roundtable of experts on the COVID-19 pandemic was convened by the prime minister on Tuesday and talks continued on Wednesday. Results of the talks are not yet known, however.

(Michal Hudec | EURACTIV.sk)

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