David Rath

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David Rath
Minister of Health
In office
4 November 2005 – 4 September 2006
Prime Minister Jiří Paroubek
Preceded by Milada Emmerová
Succeeded by Tomáš Julínek
Governor of the Central Bohemian Region
In office
24 November 2008 – 16 May 2012
Preceded by Petr Bendl
Succeeded by Zuzana Moravčíková
Member of Parliament
for Central Bohemian Region
In office
29 May 2010 – 28 August 2013
Member of Parliament for Prague
In office
3 June 2006 – 2 June 2010
Personal details
Born (1965-12-25) 25 December 1965 (age 51)
Prague, Czechoslovakia
Political party ČSSD (2006–2012)
SD–LSNS (1996–1997)
ODS (1991–1994)
Spouse(s) Eva Rathová
Residence Hostivice, Czech Republic
Alma mater Charles University in Prague
Occupation politician, physician
Website www.rathdavid.cz

David Rath (born 25 December 1965) is a Czech physician and politician who served as Minister of Health from 2005 to 2006. He was a member of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) until 16 May 2012 when he resigned[1] after being charged with bribery.[2] He also served as Member of Parliament (MP) from 2006 to 2013, first as representative from Prague and then from Central Bohemian Region where he was Governor between 2008 to 2012.

Medical career[edit]

Rath completed his medical degree at Charles University in Prague in 1990. He practiced internal medicine at General Teaching Hospital in Prague (Všeobecná fakultní nemocnice), and then at the Faculty Hospital at Motol (Fakultní nemocnice v Motole). Then in Kralupy nad Vltavou he worked for the Samaritan Association. He returned to Prague and joined the internal medicine faculty at Charles University in 1995. From 1998 to 2005 Rath served as the president of the Czech Doctors' Chamber (Česká Lékařská Komora, or ČLK), an umbrella organisation for all Czech physicians.[3]

Political career[edit]

In 1994 Rath joined the Civic Democratic Party (ODS). In 1995 he formed the Medical Action Group (or Physician's Union Club) within the party, which brought in significant monetary support during the 1998 elections. As director of the Physician's Union Club Rath initiated the November 1996 doctor's strike. In 1996 he was vice-chairman of the Free Democrats - Liberal National Socialist Party coalition (SD-LSNS).

In November 2005, the Prime Minister at the time, Jiří Paroubek, appointed him health minister. He was directed to fix the finances of the troubled Czech health system, and he proceeded to institute a number of radical reforms.[4]

In May 2006 Rath made international news when he traded blows with former Deputy Prime Minister Miroslav Macek at a dentists' conference after reportedly implying that Macek had married his wife for her money.[5] Macek was later fined for having initiated the violence by slapping Rath on the back of the head prior to delivering a speech at the conference.[6]

In September 2006, Rath was succeeded by Tomáš Julínek as Minister of Health for the Czech Republic.[7] Rath was then elected chairman of the Health Committee of the Czech Chamber of Deputies (lower house).[8]

In May 2012, he was arrested and charged with receiving bribes.[9] At that time, he served both as a Member of Parliament of the Czech Republic and Governor of the Central Bohemian Region.[10]

On 23 July 2015, he was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison, however, the verdict was appealed by Rath's defense counsel.[11] Charges in a second bribery case are still pending.[12]


  1. ^ "Rath skončil jako hejtman i v ČSSD, rezignoval ze zastupitelstva kraje"
  2. ^ "PŘÍMÝ PŘENOS: Tisková konference policie k obvinění poslance Ratha". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). iDnes. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Rosenbaum, Zdeněk (May 2002) "Lékaři A Lékárníci: Společně I Sami" Pharma News Prague interview with David Rath as president of the ČLK in Czech
  4. ^ Krosnar, Katka (1 April 2006) "Czech health workers call for minister to be sacked" The Lancet 367(9516): p. 1046
  5. ^ "Czech politicians exchange blows". BBC News. 21 May 2006. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  6. ^ ČTK (18 September 2006) "Macek fined 3,000 crowns for slap to ex-minister Rath" Czech News Agency Prague
  7. ^ ČTK (4 September 2006) "Outgoing health minister Rath shaprly criticises his successor" Czech News Agency Prague
  8. ^ ČTK (13 September 2006) "Chamber health committee elects Rath its head" Czech News Agency Prague
  9. ^ "PŘÍMÝ PŘENOS: Tisková konference policie k obvinění poslance Ratha". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). iDnes. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "ŽIVĚ: Hejtman Rath si při zatčení nesl 7 milionů, vyšetřovalo ho 100 policistů" (in Czech). Hospodářské noviny. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Czech court sends former politician Rath to prison for corruption". ČTK. České noviny. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "Policie navrhla obžalovat obviněné z druhé větve Rathovy kauzy" [Police ask for indictments of accused in second branch of the Rath Case]. České Noviny. Czech News Agency. 18 August 2015. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Milada Emmerová
Minister of Health of the Czech Republic
Succeeded by
Tomáš Julínek