Non-transparent claims surround hospital

Foundation points to high prices of several procured items, but politicians see political motivation.

The new St Michael’s Hospital in Bratislava was ceremonially opened on November 3.The new St Michael’s Hospital in Bratislava was ceremonially opened on November 3. (Source: TASR)

“It’s the most advanced health-care facility we can think of, including with respect to cutting-edge technologies,” Prime Minister Robert Fico said in early November 2015 at the ceremonial opening of the new building of St Michael’s Hospital, situated in downtown Bratislava.

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One year later the hospital faces accusations of organising an overpriced competition to purchase medical equipment. The hospital and its administrator, the Interior Ministry, however, deny the claims and some politicians even hint at political motivation behind the allegations.

An analysis carried out by the Let’s Stop Corruption Foundation compared the prices of 89 of 900 items for which the hospital paid €22.7 million. Only four of them were cheaper than similar purchases by other hospitals in the past.

“Our calculations suggest that the price of the whole compared sample may be by as much as 50 percent higher,” reads the foundation’s analysis.
The hospital’s management, however, refutes the claim.

“I refuse to be drawn into a political fight,” the head of the hospital, Marián Križko, told the press, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

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