Healthcare Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė has been urged to step down for a "variety of reasons" that are not only to do with corruption in the healthcare system, says advisor to the Lithuanian president Mindaugas Lingė.
Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

He said that President Dalia Grybauskaitė's statement last Friday that the minister should leave her post was not a response to any particular incident, but rather to Šalaševičiūtė's failure to live up to expectations.

"Looking at the minister's performance in general, [...] there is little one can say to commend her competence," Lingė told Žinių Radijas on Tuesday.

Šalaševičiūtė's suitability for the post was questioned by the president, the prime minister and representatives of her party, the Social Democrats, last Friday. She has said she will hand in a letter of resignation to the prime minister once he comes back from holiday next Monday.

The day before, last Thursday, Šalaševičiūtė admitted on live radio that she had offered a bribe to a doctor a decade ago. It also emerged that Šalaševičiūtė had been questioned in a corruption investigation, although she was not named a suspect.

Lingė, the president's adviser, noted that the public was not aware of all the details of investigations that Šalaševičiūtė might be involved in.

He also listed problems in the healthcare system that the minister had failed to address.

"There is now a big concern about the society's mental health; it turns out that after a reform in the ministry, there is no one managing this area. It points to a lax attitude regarding some things. So it is not just the anti-corruption effort where the minister failed to live up to expectations," Lingė said.

Šalaševičiūtė was appointed healthcare minister in July 2014, replacing her predecessor Vytenis Andriukaitis who had landed a job in the European Commission.

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