Overpriced purchases cost head of Košice emergency his post

The Košice rescue service paid twice the price for electrodes for defibrillators compared with the Interior Ministry.

(Source: Sme)

The Košice emergency rescue service has bought overpriced ventilators, defibrillators and electrodes under the helm of Ján Šteso. After the latest overpriced purchase, this time of electrodes for defibrillators, he resigned from his post, the Sme daily reported on August 15.

“Ján Šteso has asked the health minister for resigning from the function of the director of the Emergency Rescue Service Košice and Tomáš Drucker has complied with the request,” said Stanislava Luptáková, ministry’s spokesperson, without specifying the reasons for Šteso’s resignation.

The Košice rescue service has been purchasing electrodes for defibrillators from Medis Nitra company for years. The emergency service clinched the latest purchase agreement on July 26 when the price for one electrode was set at almost €96 including tax. The Interior Ministry has been purchasing the same electrodes, but for less than one half, Sme pointed out. The ministry pays less than €43 including tax for one electrode. The Interior Ministry purchases the electrodes within an agreement with Medishop Slovakia from last March while the agreement is valid until 2019. In Germany the price of the same electrode is about €35 including tax.

This is not the only overpriced purchase by the Košice rescue service. Last year it purchased from Medis Nitra also a Hamilton T1 transport ventilator for a price three times higher than the National Oncology Institute in Bratislava. It also paid two times more for the defibrillator Curplus3 slim than a hospital in the Czech town of Pardubice.

Non-partisan MP Miroslav Beblavý pointed out for the private TV Markíza, that Medis Nitra was the only company in a tender.

While the Košice rescue service has not answered questions by Sme about the purchases, the Health Ministry expressed its readiness to use all available means to check the tendered price of the electrodes. It has already asked the Interior Ministry for cooperation.

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