Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė on Thursday appointed Juras Požela of the Social Democratic Party as the country's new health minister.
Juras Požela
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The president said she expected the new minister of healthcare to be competent, offer novel ways to manage the healthcare system and work organization, as well as be able to act independently and transparently.

In Grybauskaitė's words, Požela will head the ministry over the difficult and short pre-election period, which is still a crucial period for facilitating restructuring of priority sectors.

Požela, 33, is the vice-chairman of the ruling Lithuanian Social Democratic Party and a member of the parliamentary Health Affairs Committee.

The post of healthcare minister has been vacant since resignation of Social Democrat Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė amid criticism after admitting to having offered cash to a doctor.

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