Minister apologizes to former president for hospital treatment

A COURT dispute between Slovakia’s former president, Rudolf Schuster, and two Bratislava hospitals has come to an end.

The operators of the hospitals – the interior and health care ministries – which are now controlled by the ruling socialist Smer party reached an agreement with Schuster, and Health Minister Ivan Valentovič made a public apology to the ex-president. Schuster is a former member of the Central Committee of the Slovak Communist Party.

However, the hospitals themselves said they were not aware of the agreement. Until now, they have maintained that their doctors made no errors in treating Schuster for a ruptured colon back in 2000.

Anesthesiologist Milan Májek from the Dérerova hospital, who is also the head of the clinic where Schuster was treated, said he regarded the agreement as a betrayal. “This is absolutely dirty tactics,” he told the Sme daily.

In June 2000, Schuster was hospitalized with a high fever, and his situation deteriorated. At the end of June doctors stated that his condition was critical, and Schuster’s family decided to have the then-president treated in Innsbruck.

Schuster later sued the two Bratislava hospitals for Sk450,000, although he claimed he only wanted a public apology.

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