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Law was bypassed in case of hospital canteens

THE HEALTH Ministry admitted that the suspicious contracts with food suppliers to four state-owned hospitals were not approved by the government, even though they should have been. Health Minister Viliam Čislák will explain to the government why his ministry bypassed the law on budgetary rules, the Sme daily wrote.

THE HEALTH Ministry admitted that the suspicious contracts with food suppliers to four state-owned hospitals were not approved by the government, even though they should have been. Health Minister Viliam Čislák will explain to the government why his ministry bypassed the law on budgetary rules, the Sme daily wrote.

Sme reported on December 8 that contracts signed by hospitals in Trenčín, Banská Bystrica, Trnava and Poprad are worth a total of €81 million for a period of ten years. Meanwhile, some of the circumstances surrounding the contacts appear to be suspect, with personally interlinked companies featuring in several tenders.

The daily further noted that while other hospitals are sometimes able to provide meals to patients for less than €5 per day, the aforementioned four hospitals pay between €8.30-10.80 per person per day, according to Sme.

The disadvantageous contracts with external private companies for supplying meals could only have been signed with the government’s consent, said non-parliamentary Sieť party vice-chairman Miroslav Beblavý at a press conference on December 8.

“If the government approved this, we demand that it should resign,” Beblavý told the press, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “If not, we demand that the directors of the four hospitals and the Health Ministry’s service office head Martin Senčák, who okayed all these purchases, are dismissed.”

The Health Ministry will check the contracts and it will present its findings, together with relevant adopted measures, to the government on December 10.

“Since drafts of concession contracts together with request for their approval were not presented to the government ,” reads the Health Ministry statement, as quoted by Sme, “the Health Minister Viliam Čislák, on the request of Prime Minister Robert Fico, ordered to check the contracts.”

Source: Sme, TASR

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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