Bratislava, October 22 (TASR) – The Slovak health-care sector isn’t in such a terrible state that people fearing for their health have to give bribes, Health Minister Tomas Drucker (a Smer-SD nominee) has told TASR.
“It’s a habit that’s been here for decades. I don’t think that it’s related to the idea of an absolutely disastrous state. However, I’m not saying that there are no issues in the health-care sector,” he said.
According to Drucker, the problem of corruption can be seen in all spheres of social life in Slovakia. “This hasn’t been imported from Mars, it’s been created here by us, the people of this country, for decades … so, let’s refuse to do it,” said Drucker, adding that if there’s no supply, there’ll be no demand.
The National Anti-corruption Unit of the National Crime Agency (NAKA) has revealed several cases of corruption in health care. Last year, the police pressed charges of receiving bribes against eight medical workers, while this year five people had been charged by August. Conversely, charges for giving bribes were pressed against 35 people in 2016, while this year the figure had reached 15 people by August, stated Police Corps Presidium spokesman Martin Waldl.
Drucker noted that many people don’t view the so-called ‘reward money’ given to doctors as anything harmful or bad. Many see it as a demonstration of gratitude. “These are generations that need to be replaced in order to understand and realise that a certain degree of solidarity, cooperation and carrying out work properly don’t require any further ‘reward money’,” said the minister, adding that this issue will require a change in thinking.
According to the law currently in place, both giving and receiving bribes are illegal in Slovakia.