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A doctor links Penta with Smer

THE SME daily revealed links between the Penta financial group and some politicians of the ruling Smer party and the businesspeople they have ties with.

(Source: Sme)

The contact person between the politicians is reportedly Igor Pramuk, member of the board of the hospital network Svet Zdravia, which belongs to Penta. A member of the board of the hospital in Stropkov (Prešov Region), notified Sme about these links. He claims to be familiar with the circumstances in Svet Zdravia, of which also the Stropkov hospital is a member. The daily has not revealed the name of this source.

Pramuk as well as Penta refused the allegations.

Penta and Smer have been labelling each other the key player in health care. Penta controls about one third of the market through its health insurer, Dôvera.

“Igor Pramuk works for Penta and it is him who deals with the ministry to arrange things the way Penta needs them arranged,” Sme source says.

The source added Pramuk, Health Minister Viliam Čislák, and former head of the state-run health insurer Všeobecná Zdravotná Poisťovňa (VšZP) Marcel Forai are “great friends”. Pramuk objected to the claim that he arranges for Penta “everything that the company needs”.

“I consider it a misleading and defamatory phrase,” Pramuk told Sme.

He only admitted that he negotiates with the ministry on behalf of the Association of Hospitals of Slovakia. He also said he knows both Čislák and Forai, but added that he does not think he would inform whom he considers his friends, Sme reported.

“Neither Mr Pramuk nor anybody else represents Penta directly in communication with the Health Ministry,” Penta spokesperson Gabriel Tóth told Sme.

The daily also reported that current deputy chair of the board of the Health Care Supervisory Authority (ÚDZS) Etela Janeková was working for Dôvera. She also owns the company In Clinic which operates a health facility bearing the same name, situated in Bratislava’s Petržalka borough.

Janeková was appointed to the post in October 2012, after she had been proposed by then-health minister Zuzana Zvolenská. Ministry spokesperson Peter Bubla failed to specify the reasons for such a choice, Sme wrote.

Also other members of the ÚDZS board are somehow connected with political and business activities of the ruling Smer party, according to Sme revelations.

Disclaimer: Penta financial group has a 45-percent share in Petit Press, the co-owner of The Slovak Spectator.

Topic: Health care


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