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Police charge bribed doctor

THE POLICE charged Vladimír P., the head doctor of one of the departments at the Children’s Faculty Hospital and Policlinic (DFNsP) in the Bratislava borough of Kramáre for taking a bribe. He was arrested by the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) on December 15, the TASR newswire reported.

THE POLICE charged Vladimír P., the head doctor of one of the departments at the Children’s Faculty Hospital and Policlinic (DFNsP) in the Bratislava borough of Kramáre for taking a bribe. He was arrested by the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) on December 15, the TASR newswire reported.

According to the Aktualne.sk website, Vladimír P. allegedly received a bribe of €500 along with a bottle of spirits in return for which he was expected to give priority to selected patients. The General Prosecutor’s Office however has not provided any further information as the investigation is still underway.

According to police, the collecting of proof of corruption in health care is difficult since culprits hide the money in mailing envelopes or sheets of documents which is hard to objectively identify as a bribe.

Between 2007 and 2013 NAKA accused just 33 doctors for accepting bribes and 140 patients of bribery. The regional courts do not have statistics about how many of them have actually been punished, according to the Pravda daily.

The doctor accompanied by his lawyer meanwhile attended a hearing on December 16. The case is supervised by the Special Prosecutor’s Office. TASR wrote that Vladmír P. would not be kept in custody.

The doctor has also been dismissed as the Health Ministry’s chief expert for the paediatric urology, said ministry spokeswoman Martina Šoltésová.

“There is a lot of talk about corruption in health care, but cases in which it is exposed by the public are few and far between,” Šoltésová said, as quoted by TASR. “This is why we keep urging people to use the Health Ministry’s anti-corruption phone service or report it to the police straightaway.”

Moreover, the hospital suspended him from work. The management of the hospital has distanced itself from the corruptive behaviour. It stressed that it would not tolerate any similar behaviour of any of its employees, DFNsP’s spokeswoman Dana Kamenická said, as reported by TASR.

“The hospital’s leadership is strictly against this and won’t put up with corruption on the part of any of its employees; if such behaviour is proven, it will take action,” said Kamenická, as quoted by TASR.

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