Minister Zembala, who was appointed on Tuesday, earlier allegedly said that he would fire nurses if they were to go on strike.
He told the TVN broadcaster on Wednesday “In the Silesian Centre for Heart Diseases [a hospital in southern Poland -ed.], which is, and will remain, part of my professional life, if any of the employees, anyone, were to strike, they would be fired the next day by me and the [hospital] director.”
“Someone who is so arrogant to health professionals, has no right to be a Health Minister,” Krzysztof Szczerski, PiS MP and aide to President-elect Andrzej Duda, told the RMF FM radio.
The Minister’s statements were also slammed by the head of the Solidarity trade union.
“We live in a democratic country, which is in the EU, which should respect the law on trade unions, the Constitution, the right to be a member of a trade union," Solidarity’s Piotr Duda said.
"Three days ago, Minister Zembala accepted the nomination to head the health ministry, swore to uphold the constitution, which states that you need to conduct a dialogue; that you have to discuss with society. It turns out that the minister urges [people] to break the law. This is a constitutional minister, who incites breaking the law.”
Out of context
Minister Zembala said on Friday that his statements were taken out of context and apologised to members of the healthcare industry.
“I apologise that this untrue information, its incompleteness, became the basis of improper arguments and assessments. Because the patient is sacrosanct, and as a minister I will be always on the side of the sick,” Zembala told Polish Radio. (rg)