David Rath
David Rath attacked with eggs at a European parliament election rally in 2009

David Rath (born 25 December 1965 in Prague) is a doctor, a politician and the former Minister of Health for the Czech Republic. He is a member of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD).

Medical career

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 doctors.[1]

Political career

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.[2]

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.[3] 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.[4]

In September 2006, Rath was succeeded by Tomáš Julínek as Minister of Health for the Czech Republic.[5] Rath was then elected chairman of the Health Committee of the Czech Chamber of Deputies (lower house).[6]


Government offices
Preceded by
Milada Emmerová
Minister of Health of the Czech Republic
Succeeded by
Tomáš Julínek

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