The Slovenia Times

New Comedy in Government: Health Minister Resigned After One Month in Office



Media have speculated about several reasons for her move, ranging from the deals of husband's company Klima Ptuj with the state to payments she received from pharmaceutical companies.

A company co-owned by her husband applied for a tender to equip the emergency ward in Novo mesto. However, the Health Ministry explained that the bid by Klima Ptuj had been thrown out over inadequate references.

Public broadcaster RTV Slovenija reported on Monday on controversial payments she received from pharmaceutical companies between 2010 and 2013, EUR 14,600 from GSK for a series of lectures, reports and articles and another EUR 2,800 from MSD and Pfizer.

The broadcaster claims that this would not be unusual if Trop Skaza were not the head of the Society on the Fight Against Infectious Diseases, which promotes vaccination, while the companies in question produce vaccines.

However, Trop Skaza indicated in her resignation letter that pressure regarding her proposal to abolish top-up health insurance in favour of a single-payer system was to blame.

"I've been warned...that a lot is happening in the background and that abolition of supplementary insurance has swept away every minister," she said.

"You can only abolish [supplementary insurance] if you offer the insurers something," she quoted an unnamed source as saying.

She also rejected criticism of inactivity, noting that several contracts had been signed for long-stalled projects, among them a deal for equipment for the haematology ward in Ljubljana.

Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek expressed regret about the decision since Trop Skaza "started tackling health projects with great determination", but she said she also understood the move considering the "attacks".

"Even before you get the chance to do or change anything, you become the target of disproportionate attacks," Bratušek said in a written statement.


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