Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch resigns

In the midst of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic, the country's Health Minister has unexpectedly stepped down

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 21.09.2020 08:30 (updated on 21.09.2020)

Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch has unexpectedly announced his resignation. One of the leading figureheads in the Czech Republic's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Vojtěch announced at an impromptu press conference this morning.

"I performed the function with my heart and my colleagues. Many changes have been implemented in those three years," Vojtěch stated. 

"I would like to thank the Prime Minister for the trust he has placed in me and for entrusting me with this management. Thanks to the paramedics for their work. Thank you to my colleagues at the [Health] Ministry. I thank all the citizens who expressed their support for me."

Vojtěch said that he had done his utmost to manage the COVID-19 epidemic in the Czech Republic, and that he has been proud of the changes in healthcare that have occurred during his time as Health Minister.

"I have nothing to be ashamed of," he said.

Vojtěch has spent less than three years in the position of Health Minister since being appointed to the position in December 2017 by Czech President Miloš Zeman. 

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The Health Minister stated that he has already handed in his resignation to Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. He remains a Member of Parliament in the Czech Chamber of Deputies for the ANO party. 

Vojtěch stated that he resigned his position as Health Minister to create space for a solution to the COVID-19 epidemic, which has seen a sharp spike in new cases in recent days. The Czech government has re-activated the Central Crisis Staff to meet later today.

"Many thanks to Adam Vojtěch for the work he has done on health care," Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš tweeted.

"He is a decent, honest and very hardworking person. I am convinced that if he did not have to expend all his energy on the fight against coronavirus, he would one day be remembered as the best Minister of Health."

"He did more work in the ministry than most of his predecessors. And he managed the first wave of the virus unbelievably. I understand that it must have been too much for him, that he was disgusted with politics and the media and decided to leave. Thank you. For all. And I wish him only the best in his life and in his next career."

Over the course of the COVID-19 epidemic in the Czech Republic, opposition parties have criticized the Health Ministry's handling of the situation, and called for Vojtěch's resignation on numerous occasions.

"Andrej Babiš bears all responsibility for the current situation," former TOP 09 chair Miroslav Kalousek tweeted.

"As long as he is the Prime Minister, it doesn't matter who will be the Minister of Health for ANO."

The Prime Minister is expected to name a new Health Minister as soon as possible to address the current spike in COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic.