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State hospitals pay millions for food

FOUR large state hospitals in Trenčín, Banská Bystrica, Trnava and Poprad that are deteriorating and their patients are waiting sometimes even months for examinations will pay external caterers almost €81 million including VAT for ten years. In comparison, some hospitals with private owners may pay even half as much for catering of what aforementioned hospitals do, the Sme daily wrote on December 8.

FOUR large state hospitals in Trenčín, Banská Bystrica, Trnava and Poprad that are deteriorating and their patients are waiting sometimes even months for examinations will pay external caterers almost €81 million including VAT for ten years. In comparison, some hospitals with private owners may pay even half as much for catering of what aforementioned hospitals do, the Sme daily wrote on December 8.

Contracts reviewed by Sme and Transparency International Slovensko (TIS), a corruption watchdog show that, on average, hospitals obtain food for patients for less than €5 on a daily basis while in the four state hospitals the sum per day oscillates from €8.3 to €10.8.

For example, Trenčín hospital, when cooking on its own, had expenses reaching €522,000 between January and September 2013. After signing a contract with external firms the expenses for catering increased to €980,000 between January and September 2014.

The caterer Hospital Catering Solutions, which did not have any employer and had basic capital in the sum of 5,000 in 2012, signed the contract with Trenčín hospital for €23 million. The sum includes also the reconstruction of the canteen.

Trenčín hospital defends the contract saying that it is impossible to compare those two periods since the expenses on catering in the previous period did not include salaries of 44 canteen workers, or energies and expenses on the building reconstruction.

Mutually intertwined companies Dora Gastro Slovakia and Hospital Catering Solutions repeatedly participated in the tenders. Head of the Board of Directors of Dora Gastro, Peter Bittó signed the contract in the Trnava Hospital while in Trenčín he had already signed the contract for Hospital Catering Solutions.

Hospital Catering Solutions refuses the connection with Dora Gastro.

“Hospital Catering Solutions is a self-sustaining company which sees the firm Dora Gastro Slovakia as a concurrent company,” says the statement of Hospital Catering Solutions, as quoted by Sme.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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