Facing an accusation from CSV party president Claude Wiseler that she had “not told the truth…for purely opportunistic political reasons”, Paulette Lenert on Monday told RTL: “Then maybe I didn’t express myself well. There is an agreement in principal.”
The health minister was referring to an interview she gave on Friday 13 May in which she had asserted that a deal had been struck between the Centre Hospitalier and the Centre médical Potaschbierg over the use of the latter’s MRI scanner. The scanner is at the centre of a legal wrangle after Lenert had previously stated that it could not be used solely by the Potaschbierg centre because it was a private medical facility. The government is currently drafting legislation that would allow private medical practices to operate an MRI.
But under the current circumstances, says social security minister Claude Haagen, patients who undergo a scan at the Potaschbierg centre will not have their bill reimbursed by the CNS national health fund.
The Potaschbierg medical centre had issued a statement earlier on Monday to clarify its position, in which it said that “no agreement has been signed on our part with the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg as of 13.05.2022. Due to the agreed discretion, it is not possible to provide any further information on the ongoing negotiations."
On Monday Lenert said that the agreement in principal had been discussed by the CHL board of directors. “Details have to be discussed between the two [facilities], and there is of course a confidentiality clause.”
But Wiseler was not the only voice to criticise Lenert, who a few months ago was riding a wave of popularity for her handling of the covid pandemic. In a statement issued on Monday, the Association of Doctors and Dentists (AMMD) accused Lenert of “gradually but inevitably getting bogged down in a legal and political imbroglio.” The ministry’s threat to shut down the Potaschbierg medical centre “on the grounds of the alleged illegal installation of an MRI is based on an unworkable legal framework,” the AMMD wrote.
Like Wiseler, the AMMD says that Lenert has “lost her political credibility as a result of her far-fetched legal argumentation, her illegal lobbying and her deception of both stakeholders and the public.”