The minister’s decision comes amid a rapid increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the country, with the daily total exceeding 2,000 several times in the last week.
Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch (ANO) announced at a press conference on Monday morning that he is stepping down.
“After careful consideration of the current situation, I have decided to resign as Minister of Health of the Czech Republic. I have already handed over my resignation to the Prime Minister,” he said.
During his speech, he recalled what he had succeeded in during his term, such as the reform of psychiatric care. “I have already handed my resignation to the Prime Minister. I want to give new space for the resolution of the coronavirus crisis,” he added.
“In less than three years, we have achieved a number of changes that are completed or already started. We have launched an electronic prescription and drug record, we have written a historical law on electronic healthcare, we have reformed medical devices,” he said.
“We have been dealing with Covid for almost half a year. I was the Minister of Covid. My colleagues and I did our best to protect the citizens of this country. It was a difficult but enriching three years, and a great experience. I feel I don’t have anything to be ashamed of. I will retain my seat in the Chamber of Deputies and focus on the healthcare field,” Vojtech added.
Vojtěch also stated that during his era, a number of changes in healthcare were successfully completed or started. “I have nothing to be ashamed of,” he said. The opposition has repeatedly called for the departure of the Minister of Health due to the failure of the epidemic.
“I respect his decision, I want to thank him for his cooperation in recent years. The Prime Minister should quickly come up with the name of his successor,” commented the Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček (ČSSD).
Rozhodnutí ministra zdravotnictví @adamvojtechano odstoupit z funkce respektuji. Chtěl bych mu poděkovat za spolupráci. Očekávám, že pan premiér co nejrychleji oznámí jméno jeho nástupce tak, aby Ministerstvo zdravotnictví mohlo nadále plnit svou roli v rámci boje s epidemií
— Jan Hamáček (@jhamacek) September 21, 2020
Coronavirus in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has reported growth in coronavirus confirmed cases at Europe’s second-fastest pace in recent weeks, behind Spain, after the country lifted just before summer almost all measures taken during the first wave of the pandemic.
In the past 14 days, the Czechs had 193 cases per 100,000 people, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis thanked Vojtech for his work in a message on his twitter account, saying he could have been remembered as the country’s best health minister if he did not have to use all his energy to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Babis is due to hold a televised press conference on Monday evening at 8pm, where he is expected to announce Vojtech’s replacement.