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MPs will check purchases in three hospitals

MEMBERS of the parliamentary health committee approved a deputy inspection at the hospitals in Piešťany, Martin and Trenčín. They will check the purchases of medical devices from the company Medical Group SK and its predecessor, Martek Medical, since 2010, the SITA newswire reported on November 18.

MEMBERS of the parliamentary health committee approved a deputy inspection at the hospitals in Piešťany, Martin and Trenčín. They will check the purchases of medical devices from the company Medical Group SK and its predecessor, Martek Medical, since 2010, the SITA newswire reported on November 18.

The company has made it to the headlines recently after media outlets reported on the overpriced purchase of a CT scanner by the Piešťany Hospital. The case has already cost former health minister Zuzana Zvolenská, former deputy speaker of parliament Renáta Zmajkovičová and former speaker of parliament Pavol Paška their posts.

The proposal was submitted by the MPs for the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Most-Híd. It was supported by all MPs present.

The parliamentary committee also approved another proposal of the opposition to order Health Minister Viliam Čislák to submit a report about inspection of all competitions that have taken place in the state-run hospitals since 2010 and in which the abovementioned companies succeeded. The minister should also provide the comments on the report issued by the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) in January 2013, which was also checking the purchases in state-run hospitals. Čislák should also inform the MPs about measures adopted by the ministry, SITA wrote.

The impulse for the deputy inspection was the case of the CT scanner purchase worth €1.6 million by the Piešťany hospital. Back in 2012, the hospital picked a company in the public competition that was to supply the CT device for €1 million. After the change of the government, however, the competition was abolished and a new one was announced which was won by Medical Group SK. Current head of the hospital Mária Domčeková defended the tender, saying everything was in compliance with the law. She, however, added that they will seek ways to terminate the deal.

The firm reportedly also supplied the devices to hospitals in Martin and Trenčín, SITA wrote.

After the case was published, Prime Minister Robert Fico called on Zvolenská and Zmajkovičová, who chaired the supervisory board in the Piešťany hospital, to resign. Media also reported about the connection between Medical Group SK and Paška who left it 13 years ago, before he was elected to the parliament.

Paška announced his resignation shortly after the November 15 municipal elections, explaining the attacks on his person that harm also his family as the reason.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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