Protesters chanted: “Murderers”, “Mafia”, “Resignation”, “No justice, no peace” and “Justice for the victims”. The protesters demanded the resignation of the health minister and the hospital administration.
Many of the protesters said their loved ones died because they were given placebos instead of real chemotherapy. – One of the protestors said that my mother had breast cancer and her condition worsened within a week of being admitted to the ward. “Unfortunately, she did not survive,” he added.
Government and hospital officials assured cancer patients that there was no danger; Prosecutors have already launched an investigation into the allegations. Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevsky commented on the matter, saying that he “understands the anger and the anger of the nation”, however, he added that “the entire state healthcare system should not be blamed”.
Nurse arrested, homes raided
The protest took place months after the first media reports about plans to withdraw cancer drugs from the hospital. In May, Macedonian police arrested a nurse who had taken anti-cancer drugs from a building. On Friday, police raided the hospital and the homes of two staff members, seizing documents, computers and data drives. However, no arrests were made and no charges were laid.
North Macedonia’s president, Stevo Penderovski, expressed hope on Monday that the investigation would lead to “appropriate punishment” for those involved in the case. He also said that the state health system has failed the public. “It is time for the organization to ensure that it can tackle serious forms of organized crime and corruption and end the culture of impunity for serious violations of the law,” the president said in a statement released by his office.
Protesters have announced another demonstration in the capital next Monday.
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