Controversial firm ends in health tenders

The representatives of Pro-Tender, owned by former classmate of ex-health minister, have no comment on the decision.

Health Minister Tomáš DruckerHealth Minister Tomáš Drucker (Source: SITA)

Health Minister Tomáš Drucker (Smer nominee) pushed a class mate of his predecessor Richard Raši (Smer) out of the tenders in the health-care sector when he ordered state medical facilities to cancel contracts with the firm Pro-Tender owned by Peter Hložný, the Sme daily reported.

This firm is behind many overpriced tenders organised in particular by Smer nominees. The best known of the tenders is the construction of the urgent care ward in the University Hospital of L. Pasteur in Košice, in which Pro-Tender was fined by the Antimonopoly Office. The decision on the sanction, however, is not yet valid, Sme wrote.

The ministry explains that hospitals are to organise their own tenders and not to use external firms.

“We will not comment on the health minister’s steps and decisions,” Hložný said, as quoted by Sme, adding that only one-third of competitions managed by Pro-Tender for other facilities had only one bidder.

Not even Raši reacted to Drucker’s decision, the daily reported.

Read also:An octopus is plaguing Slovak health care Read more 

Altogether, five medical facilities run by the Health Ministry currently have valid contracts with Pro-Tender. One of them is the hospital in Košice which plans to terminate the deal by the end of August 2016, said its head Milan Maďar.

MP Alan Suchánek of Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO-NOVA), who urged Drucker to take this step last week, however hailed this move.

“Pro-Tender is an important arm of the Košice’s health octopus and one of the main obstacles to transparent public procurement,” he said at the time, as quoted by Sme.

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