Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico underwent successful heart surgery on April 22 at Bratislava's National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NUSCH). The operation will put the PM out of circulation for some weeks.
It could take Fico more than two months to recover, meaning he may be on his feet in time for the start Slovakia's presidency of the Council of the EU on July 1. However, his limited role in the meantime will not help push forward the shaky coalition's agreed four-year programme, nor aid the stability of the government he hastily cobbled together following inconclusive elections on March 5.
With his fellow coalition party leaders - ranging from centre-left to far-right - Fico signed the government manifesto a day before he was admitted to the specialist hospital on April 14. The unscheduled heart examination followed chest pains, but was initially reported to be little to worry about.
“The surgery proceeded in a standard way, and the patient is completely stabilised”, said Michal Human, the doctor who led the surgery, Dennik N reported. A NUSCH spokesman confirmed surgery took place, but provided no details, in line with “the wishes of the prime minister and his family”. Unnamed sources told the media outlet Fico had undergone triple bypass surgery.
As with any “open heart” surgery, bypass carries significant risks. If there are no complications, Fico should be released from hospital in a week to 10 days. It takes patients six-eight weeks to recover from such surgery.
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