When serving as a head of the University Hospital Bratislava, current Košice Mayor Richard Raši (Smer) bought a plasma steriliser in 2008 which was one-third more expensive than a similar device purchased by the Prague-based Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM).
The hospital in Bratislava paid by SKK3.5 million (about €116,000) more, the Sme daily reported.
The revelations come about 1.5 months after Raši criticised doctor and MP for Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) Alan Suchánek for supporting the purchase of more expensive computed tomography device in Piešťany hospital back in 2012. The hospital did not buy it after all, according to the daily.
While the institute in Prague bought the plasma steriliser directly from its producer for CZK4.7 million (more than SKK6 million), the tender launched by Raši was won by company Neomad, whose partner is neighbour of former speaker of parliament Pavol Paška (Smer), Dušan Mach. The hospital paid SKK8.9 million excluding VAT.
Similarly to Paška, Mach once worked for the company Fakon which later changed its name to Medical Group. Paška had to leave the top politics after the CT scandal, which revealed dubious activities and relations in the health sector. The scandal also involved the Medical Group company.
Moreover, the 2008 competition was organised by company Pro-tender, owned by Raši’s former classmate Peter Hložný, Sme wrote.
In addition, while the price for IKEM included also further fittings, the hospital in Bratislava had to pay additional sum, increasing the total price to SKK9.5 million excluding VAT.
“The commission of the University Hospital Bratislava accepted the price because no lower bid was offered in the public procurement,” Raši said, as quoted by Sme, adding there were no objections to the competition.
He also does not have any information about a facility that would buy the same device for lower price. At the time neither the committee nor the hospital could learn more about the prices of the same devices abroad as there was no database, he added, as reported by Sme.
3. Aug 2016 at 13:36 | Compiled by Spectator staff