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Eight people charged in case of overpriced CT scanner in Piešťany

IN THE INFAMOUS case of the overpriced CT scanner purchased by the Alexander Winter Hospital in Piešťany, the investigator recently charged eight people with the especially grave crime of the attempt to violate duties when administering other people’s property.

Doctor Alan Suchánek reported the tender in Piešťany hospital. (Source: Sme)

“Based on highly publicised information, General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár ordered the prosecution authorities, in November 2014, to investigate the conditions under which the CT device in Alexander Winter Hospital in Piešťany was purchased,” Andrea Predajňová, spokeswoman of the General Prosecutor’s Office (GP), informed the TASR newswire on September 16. The Slovak GP then issued a written instruction to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Trnava.

Having acquired evidence, an investigator of the national Criminal Agency (NAKA) of the Police Presidium launched a criminal prosecution on February 10 2015, due to the misdemeanour of attempted violation of duties when administering other people’s property.  Based on the results of the evidence collected, the investigator charged eight people on September 10. Predajňová refused to specify the information, in order not to interfere with the course of the investigation.  If found guilty, those charged face a sentence of up to 10-15 years in prison.

A. 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, who were all involved in one way or another.

Read also: Read also:Piešťany hospital will not be fined over unlawful purchase of CT

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

The original CT scanner was re-installed in Piešťany hospital. 

Topic: Corruption & scandals

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