PM Babiš Replaces Health Minister Blatný With Petr Arenberger
Jan Blatný, who served as the Czech Minister of Health for about five months, has been replaced by Petr Arenberger, the director of the Královské Vinohrady University Hospital and an expert in dermatology and venereology. The replacement was proposed by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and approved today by President Miloš Zeman. Photo: Jan Blatný, former Minister of Health, at the press conference on April 6 (Cropped). Credit: Vlada.cz.
Czech Rep., Apr 7 (BD) – Jan Blatný, who served as the Czech Minister of Health for about five months, has been replaced by Petr Arenberger, the director of the Královské Vinohrady University Hospital. The replacement was proposed by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and approved today by President Miloš Zeman. Arenberger was sworn in as a minister at Prague Castle this morning. Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (ČSSD) also expressed his support for the decision. Arenberger, an expert in dermatology and venereology, is the fourth Minister of Health since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Blatný was informed of his dismissal by Babiš in a personal meeting on Tuesday evening. At his final press conference, Blatný said: “The reasons will possibly be explained to you by the Prime Minister himself. The discussion we had was about mutual opportunities for cooperation and political issues. I do not want to comment further.” He added that he understood his removal from the position as a political decision, which Babiš had the right to make. “I have a clear conscience that I worked only on the basis of my expertise and made decisions depending on professional data and analysis.”
At the press conference, Blatný also said that if there is no delay to the vaccine delivery, the Czech Republic will have ‘won’ by summer, with about 70% of the population vaccinated. “I was in favor of using only approved vaccines. This is the only way we can guarantee that they are safe. And this also applies to other medicines,” he added. When asked if he would change any decisions he took during his tenure, Blatný replied: “I am not aware of any mistakes. However, if we had already been informed in December that coronavirus mutations were present, as we were able to trace back, we would have proceeded differently.”