Friday, June 13, 2008

Despite corruption scandal, health minister dismissal will not slow reforms

Minister of health, Ewa Kopacz, assured today that the dismissal of her deputy Krzysztof Grzegorek on Monday due to corruption charges will not slow down or stop the preparations of the health service reform bill.

At a press conference in Warsaw on Tuesday, Kopacz said that she is determined to continue to work on the reform bill; the ministry is planning to announce the range of benefits covered by national health insurance on Thursday.

Minister Kopacz also said that until a new deputy minister of health is appointed, she will take over the duties performed by Grzegorek. She is to appeal to the PM to appoint a new deputy later this week.

Kopacz assured that she did not know that Krzysztof Grzegorek might be in conflict with the law. She stressed that fighting corruption in health service is one of her main goals as health minister.

Krzysztof Grzegorek resigned after media accused him of taking a bribe while he was the head of one of the wards in a hospital in Skarzysko-Kamienna, southern Poland. Grzegorek said that the accusations are unfounded and denied taking any bribes, but decided to resign nevertheless. His resignation was accepted on Tuesday.