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SDKÚ demands answers from Zvolenská over Žilina Hospital cronyism claims
16 Jan 2013 Flash News
The Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) has called on Health Minister Zuzana Zvolenská to stop avoiding media questions and comment on alleged dubious practices at Žilina Hospital, the SITA newswire reported on January 15.
Markíza TV was the first to report allegations regarding a reorganisation plan for the hospital, saying that the plan, costing €10,000, was prepared by PP Partnership, a company whose authorised representative works in a boiler room. It reported that he is also a neighbour of the head of the hospital, Štefan Volák. In addition to this, one of the co-owners in the firm is Tomáš Tvarůžek, an adviser to Volák.
“Unfortunately, it has become a rule that nominees of Smer in state-run hospitals pass orders to their friends, neighbours and companies close to Smer,” said Viliam Novotný, SDKÚ deputy leader, as quoted by SITA, adding that such practices were witnessed during the rule of the first Robert Fico government (2006-10). “This is the way Smer foresees the management of the state health-care system.”
The SDKÚ also criticised what it said was the health minister’s attempts to cover up the actions of the hospital’s director.
At the beginning of the week, the New Majority party of Daniel Lipšic also called on Zvolenská to start answering the questions, and to dismiss Volák. Lipšic stressed that “if she does not do so, it will be an admission that she approves these dubious practices”, SITA wrote.
The Health Ministry responded that it had already prepared an inspection at the hospital with the aim of clearing the name of the director. In addition to this, the ministry filed a criminal complaint against the TV Markíza reporter who investigated the claims, accusing her of slander and scaremongering. Novotný said this was an attempt to menace the independent journalists who have pointed to the case and sought answers, SITA wrote.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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