The Czech Republic’s Minister of Health, Adam Vojtěch, is the youngest in the country’s history and has set out an ambitious reform programme to improve the state of the Czech healthcare system.
In my office, I will actively seek to fulfil the key points of my election program – efficiency of the health system, its quality and transparency
Vojtěch, 33, is a Czech politician and lawyer who has been Minister of Health since 13 December 2017 in both the first and second cabinets of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. In his short career, he has studied law, worked at the Ministry of Finance, been elected as a deputy and has become the youngest Minister of Health in history at the age of 31.
Since being appointed, Vojtěch has laid out a set of key priorities, including a comprehensive review of drug regulation, implementing and maintaining an electronic prescription system called eRecept, and focusing on drug shortages in the country. He also plans to focus on improving the health system, quoting on his website, “In my office, I will actively seek to fulfil the key points of my election program – efficiency of the health system, its quality and transparency.”
Vojtěch foregrounded his commitment to tackling drug shortages in a statement on 16 November, in which he proposed an amendment to the Act on Pharmaceuticals as a way of enacting measures to address drug manufacturing and delivery problems. He highlighted the issue of cross-border exports of medicines intended for Czech patients, underscoring that through the amendment tighter controls on such exports will be put into place to verify a sufficient supply of drugs on the Czech market before being exported for profit.
He did, however, warn that, “Problems with the availability of medicines will not be solved absolutely by our amendment. We will constantly have to monitor market developments, change the behaviour of manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies and continually look for further measures.”
This isn’t Vojtěch’s first spell in the national spotlight – when just 19, he made a name for himself on Czech Republic’s ‘SuperStar’ TV talent show. However, he resisted the call of fame and dedicated himself to studying law and media, earning two master’s degrees and his way into the Ministry of Finance, where he supervised health care financing, and finally to his current position.