Piešťany hospital will not be fined over unlawful purchase of CT

ALEXANDER Winter Hospital in Piešťany violated the law when procuring the CT scanner, which cost the positions of then health minister Zuzana Zvolenská, then speaker of parliament Pavol Paška and then deputy speaker Renáta Zmajkovičová, all involved in one way or another.

ÚVO buildingÚVO building (Source: Sme)

The Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) carried out an audit in Piešťany hospital that ended on April 29, its spokesman Ján Mažgút informed the TASR newswire. ÚVO found violations of the Act of Public Procurement – which have, however, not impacted the result of the procurement and the selection of winning bidder, Mažgút added.

ÚVO found ten flaws in the CT scanner procurement, but none of them can be defined as an administrative offence. Thus, the public office will not launch any administrative proceeding regarding a fine.

The hospital proceeded in a non-transparent way, according to ÚVO, when it described chaotically the subject of order concerning the post-guarantee service. It also violated the principle of transparency when evaluating the fulfillment of conditions of participation in tender – but this has not had any influence on the procurement’s result.

The hospital also violated the law when it did not announce to all potential bidders the explanation of competition documents – this could not have dissuaded them from filing a bid, however, according to ÚVO. The hospital also failed to state the deadline for appeal for unsuccessful bidders, and did not announce the information on concluding the contract with the tender’s winner to the ÚVO.

The hospital also violated the law when it published the information on results and the order of bidders before the whole process of evaluating offers had been concluded. 

The gravest flaw concerned the winner, Medical Group, which filed “the document proving fulfillment of conditions for participation in the tender concerning its technical or expert capability” only after the bids had been evaluated and before the contract was concluded. “However, this has not had any impact on the result of the public procurement,” Mažgút claimed, as quoted by the Sme daily.

Piešťany hospital already wanted to purchase a CT scanner in 2012 but the transaction did not take place, and after the ruling Smer party took over the hospital management, it scrapped the 2012 tender and announced a new one, for a better and more expensive scanner. The new competition was won by the Košice company Medical Group SK, which should have delivered the device for almost €1.6 million (almost one million euros more than the hospital in Czech Havlíčkúv Brod piad for a similar device). The company is connected with Paška who used to work in it.

Two members of the hospital board, representing the employees – doctor Alan Suchánek and nurse Magdaléna Kovačovičová – pointed first to the excessive price, Sme wrote. The recent audit and investigation of the tender was initiated by the new Health Minister Viliam Čislák last November. However, he called the flaws formal and has deemed the whole tender case “a pseudo-scandal”, for which an unsuccessful no-confidence vote against him was initiated by the opposition.  

 

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