Director of “super-hospital” fired for terminating unfavorable contracts

February 13, 2018

Photo: minap.hu

Director of the Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Hospital Sándor Tiba (pictured) was fired after he terminated “unfavorable” contracts, reports left-wing daily Népszava.

Tiba was appointed as director of the Miskolc-based Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Hospital in April 2017. In early January, Népszava reported that the new “super-hospital” that was created by merging five existing hospitals had fallen short of expectations. The quality of treatment decreased and many doctors left the institution either voluntarily or involuntarily. Many employees were surprised by Tiba’s appointment. Unlike his predecessor, Tiba, whose brother is a Fidesz MP, only had experience in managing a smaller hospital.

Last week, Minister of Human Resources Zoltán Balog suddenly dismissed Tiba from his position referring to Tiba’s “poor health”. Tiba was only notified about his termination a few minutes before a conference of chief residents, where National Healthcare Services Center (ÁEEK) director László Németh announced Tiba’s removal. Németh justified Tiba’s termination by the fact that he had reached the retirement age, even though Tiba had already passed retirement age when he was appointed last year.

Tiba told Népszava that after his appointment he went through all 2,000 contracts the hospital had made in the past years. He found roughly 15 contracts that he deemed unfavorable for the hospital and terminated them. Tiba found two bigger contracts that were financially “problematic” and “questionable.” After having it checked by the hospital’s economic management, he sent the results to the regional director of ÁEEK.

One of the contracts was made with Medcenter Kft., a supplier of oncologist radiotherapies. According to Tiba, the company failed to undertake maintenance of the equipment it had provided for the hospital. As a result, last year one of the two linear accelerators that the company had installed broke down and has not been repaired ever since. Moreover, based on the calculations of the economic management, between 2006 and 2017 the hospital overpaid the company HUF 1.5 billion (USD 5.9 million).

At the end of 2017 leaders of ÁEEK confirmed to Tiba that the contract was indeed problematic and together decided that the Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Hospital should temporarily suspend payments to Medcenter Kft.  However, no written record was made about the decision.

The hospital, which employs 6,000 and treats some 800,000 patients each year, is left without an appointed director for an indefinite time.