The Slovenia Times

Health minister stays on


23 MPs voted for her dismissal and 42 against. Although MPs were mostly critical of her work, they seem to have agreed that replacing the minister a year before the election is not sensible.

The opposition Democrats (SDS) argued in presenting their no-confidence motion that the minister was not only allowing corruption in health but supporting and legalising it.

MP Jelka Godec highlighted the situation at the paediatric clinic, long waiting times and losses generated by health institutions as the biggest problems.

The party is not happy with the Health Ministry's legislative proposals so far and was critical of a new bill bailing out hospitals with EUR 136m.

The only other party to support the motion was the opposition New Slovenia (NSi), which agreed that under Kolar Celarc the crisis of the Slovenian healthcare system had deepened.

Coalition SocDem MP Janko Veber also voted for Kolar Celarc's dismissal.

The minister rejected all the accusations as ungrounded, saying that a vote against the motion was a vote for quality public health system based on solidarity.

She said she advocated zero tolerance to corruption and had been fighting against it in line with her powers. She played down the issue of waiting times and defended the government plan to give EUR 136m to hospitals in trouble.

She was firmly backed by the ruling Modern Centre Party (SMC) and despite the 15-hour debate Prime Minister Miro Cerar attended the vote to support the minister. Nevertheless, two of the party's MPs, Mitja Horvat and Marko Ferluga, did not cast their votes.

All other parties were critical of the minister. Their argument against the motion was that the Kolar Celarc's dismissal would not improve the situation but could merely destabilise the government.

MPs of the opposition Left did not vote, while the coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) was divided. Six of its MPs voted against the impeachment motion, one abstained and several were absent during the vote.


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