Rudolf Schuster's condition improving in Austria
Ernst Bodner, the chief surgeon at the clinic in Innsbruck where Slovak President Rudolf Schuster is being treated, performed a minor surgical procedure on post-operation wounds of Schuster on July 12. Bodner said that during the 10-minutes procedure only mild anaesthesia was required and that it would have no impact on the president's awakening process. After two weeks of a drug-induced coma, Schuster has been groggy since his awakening - doctors said this was caused by the residual effects of drugs which had accumulated in his fatty tissues.
Three operational wounds on his stomach remain a lingering problem for the president, Bodner said. The July 12 procedure was expected to fix one of the wounds, however, Bodner said he could not guarantee that the healing process of all the wounds will be optimal. The last results of bacteriological examinations suggest that no bacteria is inside the wound, which should help the healing process.
After waking Schuster from the artificial coma, doctors in Austria said that they believed the Slovak President had not suffered brain damage, as had been earlier feared. Schuster can communicate with simple gestures and was able to stand on his feet for five minutes on July 11 with the assistance of a special medical chair. The chair is designed to eliminate blood circulation problems of patients who are confined to bed for extended periods.
Bodner said he was satisfied with the reaction of Schuster's body to the activity, but added that it had been quite demanding for him. Physicians are trying to restore Schuster's muscle strength through massage and rehabilitation exercise. No time has yet been set for his discharge from the hospital, nor has it been determined when he may return to Slovakia.
Roman Kováč appointed as new Health Minister
Roman Kováč, who last week was dismissed from his post of Slovak Democratic Union (SDK) party caucus chairman, was appointed to the post of Health Minister. Kováč replaces Tibor Šagát, who resigned July 4 under heavy criticism for the medical treatment that President Rudolf Schuster received in Bratislava.
The new Health Minister said after his appointment that the health care department faces a long and difficult transformation. He promised to do his utmost to make the transformation successful, and Dzurinda and Migaš pledged to support the new minister.
Moderate tremor quakes western Slovakia
A moderate earthquake shook the towns of Eisenstadt and Wiener Neustadt in eastern Austria on July 11 at 4:45. The quake registered a 4.9 on the Richter scale and was felt throughout western Slovakia. No major damage was reported.
Dobroslav Dobák, head of the Jaslovské Bohunice nuclear power station PR department, said that the tremor had not affected the operation of the Slovak reactors in western Slovakia. The V-1 and V-2 blocks of the power station are enforced to survive earthquakes up to a grade of 8 on the European (MSK) 12 grade scale (the July 11 quake registered a 6 on the MSK).
Compiled by Chris Togneri
17. Jul 2000 at 0:00