Social Democrats Call on PM to Dismiss Health Minister Beros

By 10 August 2022
Social Democrats Call on PM to Dismiss Health Minister Beros

ZAGREB, 10 August, 2022 - The Social Democrats party sent an open letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Tuesday demanding he dismisses Health Minister Vili Beroš, whom they consider responsible for the shortage of an antiviral drug used to treat COVID-19.

The Social Democrats sent the letter following the death of reporter Vladimir Matijanić, who died as a result of COVID-19.

"The reason for his dismissal is his undeniable responsibility for failing to act and his preventing Croatian citizens from using the newest generation antiviral drug, which has been proven to reduce hospitalisation and mortality in a large number of cases for immunocompromised patients," the party said.

The drug that helps COVID patients was approved by the European Medicines Agency in January and has been purchased by most EU member states.

"If such a drug exists, if it has been approved, if it has been clinically established that it successfully prevents the most severe forms of the disease, then we Croatian citizens have the right to that drug," they added.

They believe that this case shows why Croatia has one of the highest COVID mortality rates. This is not about the responsibility of hospital directors, Health Ministry officials or the Health Insurance Fund, but about the direct responsibility of Minister Beroš.

The Social Democrats noted that their demand is not politically motivated, but that they want to see a minimum standard of political accountability, "without which citizens' trust in the institutions and the state will weaken even more, with consequences that are extremely harmful in the long term for our whole society."