Kostka: I’m Not Masseur Who Steals

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Bratislava, February 10, (TASR) – Peter Kostka, the owner of a clinic called Klinika Kostka who has been accused of signing an excessively favourable contract with state-run health insurer Vseobecna zdravotna poistovna (VsZP), denied on Wednesday that he’s a masseur who steals.    

“If I don’t have a single patient today, I won’t earn a single euro. I neither steal money from insurance companies, as claimed by some people, nor get it for nothing. There’s a treated or cured patient behind every single euro,” Kostka wrote in a press release.  

Kostka described criticism of his contract with VsZP as unfair campaigning by non-parliamentary party Siet (Network). Reacting to statements made by Siet vice-chair Miroslav Beblavy, Kostka said that he isn’t a masseur, but a doctor, and that not only masseurs, but also doctors and physiotherapists work at the clinic. He said that he’s realised over the past few days that some people are willing to sell out their basic positive human characteristics in favour of a political campaign.

Kostka pointed to the fact that the clinic has been functioning since 2000 and that over one million courses of therapy have been carried out there since that time. “When I talk about my team, I mean 200 workers, and it’s actually offensive to rank them in the common category of masseur,” he said.

At the same time Kostka denies that he’s earning €5,000 per day, as claimed by Beblavy. He went on to say that patients have been cured thanks to the money from the health insurer and that nobody forced them to visit his clinic. “They visit it voluntarily, and a high number of patients do so without any advertising or buying of PR stories. Our work and chiefly our results speak for us,” said Kostka.

Siet last week pointed to the fact that Kostka-owned clinics offering massages and rehabilitation began to flourish in an extraordinary way during the term of Robert Fico’s Government thanks to a special health care conduct code. Transparency International Slovensko found out that money from the prime minister’s reserve as well as European Funds flowed into Kostka’s clinics, as well. VsZP argues that a contract enabling a unique code was signed in 2011 during the term in office of former VsZP head Marian Faktor (a KDH nominee) and that it was scrapped last year. Factor reacted by saying that only Smer-SD is accountable for the fact that activities covered by the contract for €10,000 monthly have turned into €1.5 million annually.