New state insurer’s head had already been involved in scandals

AFTER Marcel Forai had resigned from post of the head of VšZP, the state-owned health insurer, it has been revealed that his recently appointed successor Miroslav Vaďura has been connected to scandals as well.

New VšZP head, Miroslav VaďuraNew VšZP head, Miroslav Vaďura (Source: SITA)

Forai resigned after shady deals between VšZP and companies of his Aunt, Anna Sučková, were exposed and published.

Read also:Forai leaves his health insurance post Read more 

However, Vaďura – who took over the post on October 1 – had been connected with some earlier scandals, too, according to the Transparency International Slovensko watch-dog (TIS). The man who has until now been a member of VšZP board, headed the University Hospital Kramáre in Bratislava between 2008 and 2010. In 2009, he bought a CT scanner for the hospital for €1.4 million; i.e. €400,000 more expensive than Ostrava (Czech Republic) paid for the same type in the same year. It was also curious, TIS points out, that one of the conditions in the tender was that the device must be cooled with water – nonsense, according to a radiology expert. This condition, however, excluded all other bidders, leaving the winner the only one remaining.

 Vaďura also sold the plots under the heliport at Kramáre, although with a condition – easement of having unlimited right to access and use for medical services. However, the then-health minister Ivan Uhliarik (KDH) recalled him in 2010 from this position. “The sale did not violate the law from the point of view of purchase price,” Uhliarik said, as quoted by the Sme daily on October 5. “Nevertheless, I think that the sale of plots under the landing area for helicopters at Kramáre contradicts common sense, and thus I dismissed him.” 

Both the Health Ministry – led by Viliam Čislák who appointed Vaďura – and VšZP defend the latter, the sale itself and also the price; the heliport, adjacent hospital Park and surrounding plots (totalling 67,000 square metres) were sold for €5.7 million, which equalled the official expert opinion; but TIS argued that the market price might have been as high as €39 million.

Vaďura, before being appointed to lead the Kramáre Hospital by then-health minister Richard Raši (of the ruling Smer party), had been Raši’s deputy – as the head of the University Hospital Kramáre – for economy and technology.

Current minister Čislák said, after Forai’s chair became empty, that the two remaining members of the VšZP board – Vaďura and Antónia Borovková – would continue to lead the health insurer, and that he would wait for the results of the investigation of the Office for Oversight over Health Care (ÚDZS) to show whether the contracts with Sučková’s companies were in line with the law – and if it were so, he would re-appoint Forai to head the insurer. Then Čislák suddenly changed his mind and brought Vaďura to the chair, Sme wrote. 

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