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Elderly doctor buys hospital

DOCTOR Mikuláš Čurik from Trstená in north-western Slovakia won a tender to buy the Tehelná walk-in clinic complex in Bratislava with an offer of Sk165 million (€4.34 million).

The starting price set by the National Property Fund (FNM) privatization agency was Sk46 million (€1.21 million).

Čurik's bid beat the offers of capital groups such as Penta and J&T, the daily SME wrote. It is rare that an individual wins such a tender for a medical centre because of the massive initial investments that are required for repairs and development.

The weekly magazine Plus sedem dní reported that the 60-year-old Čurik lives in a modest two-room flat in an older apartment building. He has lived his entire life in Trstená and does not have a computer in his office.

Given the buyer's apparent lack of surplus funds, speculation has arisen that Čurik is a cover for a capital group. At the moment the doctor is on holiday and has not commented on the transaction.

FNM spokeswoman Tatjana Lesajová said the fund had received confirmation from a bank that Čurik has the money to cover the purchase.

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