PM dismisses health minister

Katarzyna Sójka, a physician, is a member of the parliamentary caucus of the ruling party, Law and Justice (PiS). Andrzej Lange/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has accepted the resignation of Health Minister Adam Niedzielski and offered the post to MP Katarzyna Sójka.

"I have decided to accept the resignation offered by Health Minister Adam Niedzielski," Morawiecki announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The prime minister added that, at the same time, he had decided to offer the job to MP Katarzyna Sójka.

Sójka, a physician, is a member of the parliamentary caucus of the ruling party, Law and Justice (PiS).

Several days ago, a Polish doctor demanded that the health minister apologise and make a donation to a hospice charity for publishing his personal details along with what he claims are defamatory statements about him on social media.

"The time of an election campaign is a period during which we have to be extremely cautious about any mistake or any word, even when lies and manipulations of the opposite side are being revealed," Morawiecki said in a statement.

"There has been so much manipulation and lies on the part of the opposite side, and this lie has been proved and revealed," the prime minister added.

"But a mistake was made when this lie was being revealed," Morawiecki went on to say, adding that he had decided to dismiss the minister as the point was now to focus not on his error but on what was the most important, namely on the good of the patient.

On Thursday, private broadcaster TVN screened footage about patients in the city of Poznań being unable to receive pain killers due to new prescription regulations which came into force on August 2.

The doctor commenting on the situation, Piotr Pisula, said he was unable to prescribe the necessary medication. Minister Niedzielski later published Pisula's personal data on X (formerly Twitter) along with claims that he had prescribed the restricted medication in his own name.

Pisula issued a legal notice on Monday demanding an apology and the sum of PLN 100,000 (EUR 22,580) to be paid by Niedzielski to a Poznań hospice.

Later on Monday, Wojciech Andrusiewicz, a health ministry spokesman, said a check of the electronic prescription system had shown that Pisula had never tried to prescribe the drugs to patients.

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