Statement by Health Minister in Resignation Miodrag Radunović for Television of Montenegro

    I wish to inform the public that the Prime Minister has accepted my resignation I offered him yesterday, the first day after returning from Bijelo Polje.

    In one’s lifetime, everyone faces moments in which he/she loses a battle. We, who practice medicine, find ourselves in such situations more often than others.

    This was my toughest battle. I have won thousands of them as a surgeon. But, I was not able to win this one as I got involved too late when it had already been lost.

    There are, however, situations in which the entre society loses. This is one of them. The disappearance of a life that has just begun is a tragedy that should be both a lesson and a warning to all of us.

    A warning because irresponsibility and violation of regulations and rules lead to irrecoverable loses. Unfortunately, babies die as well in the most developed countries with top medical care and developed democracy. But, in these societies, the reason cannot be a failure of a part of the system. And that has to be our lesson: This happens only in the countries which have established a system in which something like this is possible.

    That is why I resign. I believe it is clear that the one who was not informed about events in the Bijelo Polje’s hospital cannot be held accountable. But, it is also clear that I am objectively responsible as I was at the top of the heath chain which part had failed and resulted in such a situation where it was possible for the health minister to have not been informed about the infection that had been raging for days in the fourth Montenegro’s municipality, when the population is taken into account.

    In a situation like this, the minister himself is the least important, especially the one who from the very beginning has had no doubt that, no matter what he was like, after this he cannot be minister any longer.

    I think it is of utmost significance for us to realise our errors, sanction those who are responsible, starting from the hospital’s cleaning staff to the minster himself, and not to allow this to happen ever again.

    I would like to thank the Publc Service for providing me with the opportunity to address the public and to invite all the media to cool passions and avoid using these tragical events to raise circulation and viewership by treating them in a sensationalistic fashion. The media should demand accountability, but primarily by using arguments and facts. Help calm down the public in order to enable the state institutions to do their job. I am convinced it serves the public interest.

    Health Minister in Resignation Miodrag Radunović, 18 November 2014

    Source: Government of Montenegro