State to cover construction of Rázsochy Hospital

Health Ministry has plan B.

The former skeleton of the unfinished hospital in Bratislava's Rázsochy borough.The former skeleton of the unfinished hospital in Bratislava's Rázsochy borough. (Source: SME - Jozef Jakubčo)

The construction of Rázsochy hospital in Bratislava will not be financed from the Recovery Plan.

According to Health Minister Michal Palkovič, the decision was made because various project milestones cannot be met in the time allotted. Moreover, the current project documentation has serious flaws, including "defect" construction planning, unclear investments, and expected further delays.

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"There are flaws that we think need three to six more months to fix at the minimum," the minister said last Friday, adding that the state will instead cover the construction of a new hospital in the capital.

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The construction of Rázsochy Hospital was one of the key points of the governments of both Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) and later Eduard Heger (ex-OĽaNO, now Democrats). According to the latter, "It was a good plan, but not everything goes as planned." Speaker of the Parliament Boris Kollár (Sme Rodina) blamed Heger.

OĽaNO was disappointed by the news, saying that the government ministry should have done their utmost to negotiate the postponing of deadlines. According to Lívia Vašáková, head of the Recovery Plan Department at the Government Office, deadlines had been postponed once, but could not any further.

Changes will also have to be made regarding a hospital in the town of Martin, Žilina Region, with regards to the failed tender for its construction. The hospital should not be built from the Recovery Plan up to the 'fully fitted out' level, but only to the 'shell and core' level.

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Plan B

In order to prevent loss of money, it was suggested that hospital projects with published investment feasibility studies be given a second chance.

"We would like to invite their representatives to a meeting, where they would present their projects to us so that we can judge how realistic the plans are," said Vašáková. This applies to hospitals in Banská Bystrica, Trnava, Martin, Prešov and to children's hospitals in Bratislava and Košice.

The idea of building Rázsochy arose more than 30 years ago. What started out as an ambitious project to serve patients from across Slovakia and to house medical students resulted in a huge, but unfinished complex. It was later left to rot and has been ravaged by scavengers seeking scrap metal and other materials.

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