Zilinka: Attacks on Medical Staff Must Be Condemned by Society

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Prosecutor-General Maros Zilinka (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 12 (TASR) – Attacks on medical staff must be unequivocally condemned by society, Prosecutor-General (PG) Maros Zilina said following his meeting with Health Minister Vladimir Lengvarsky on Tuesday.

Zilinka stressed that health workers enjoy the status of protected persons when exercising their profession. Therefore, perpetrators of the attacks face higher penalties. The PG said he will discuss the current situation with interim Police Corps President Stefan Hamran, too.

“As of January 1, 2017 health-care professionals enjoy the status of protected persons when performing their work duties related to the protection of the life and health of citizens. In practice, this means that if they become the target of an attack, either verbal or physical, these acts shall be considered as a more serious and offenders face higher penalties for them,” stated Zilinka.

The PG noted that detecting criminal offences is primarily in the power of the Police Corps bodies. During his meeting with Hamran later on Tuesday, Zilinka wants to appeal to him to make the police more active in this regard. He declared the full support of the prosecution service to them.

“The meeting was very beneficial for me. I feel unambiguous support, both from the PG Office and the Police Corps, for protection of health-care professionals, but also for preventing the spread of fake news that contribute to the fact that we have hospitals full of patients who might not have to be there,” said Lengvarsky. Hoaxes spread by health workers themselves shall be dealt with at the level of the Health Ministry. The minister stated that those spreading hoaxes contribute to overcrowded hospitals and deaths, as most victims of COVID-19 are unvaccinated, as well as restrictions on the provision of “classical” health care.