President slams health minister for jumping the gun

14-07-2004

President Klaus has criticized the Czech health minister Josef Kubinyi for banning the use of caged beds in all health institutions in the Czech Republic without consulting doctors and experts on the matter. Minister Kubinyi issued the order following criticism in the British media and a protest letter from J.K. Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter books. President Klaus, who has invited medical experts to Prague Castle to inform him about the situation, said that the issue was not something that "could be solved out of context, by a populist gesture". Mr. Kubinyi was called on to explain his decision on Wednesday morning and he assured the head of state that he had not meant to ignore or dismiss the views of Czech specialists in the field. Many Czech psychiatrists maintain that caged or netter beds are less cruel and traumatising to a patient that forced application of drugs or being strapped to a bed.