The Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Szczecin has brought charges against 30 individuals suspected of involvement in a corruption scheme connected to the Transplantology Aid Foundation. Investigators allege that patients at the Zdunowo Hospital in Szczecin were asked to pay 10,000 PLN each for obesity treatment surgeries outside the official waiting list.
“The originator and initiator of the described method of receiving payments from so-called bariatric patients was Tomasz G., the former Director of the Specialized Hospital named after Prof. Alfred Sokołowski in Szczecin-Zdunowo, as well as the founder of the Transplantology Aid Foundation, who effectively made decisions within that entity,” stated the prosecutor.
The indictment has been filed against 30 individuals involved in corrupt practices at the Prof. Alfred Sokołowski Hospital in Szczecin. According to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Szczecin, Tomasz G., the former Senate Speaker, was the initiator of “receiving payments from so-called bariatric patients.”
In a conversation with wp.pl, Tomasz G. asserted that this is the “final stage of the hunt for the Senate Speaker, a position he held for four years, to the distress of Law and Justice (PiS).” He added that the “people accused are completely innocent.”
G. contested the findings of the investigators, stating that it is a “case fabricated by the prosecutor’s office,” and in his opinion, “no one was ever forced to make payments.”
“At this moment, I consider the actions of the investigators as a brutal move by the armed wing of PiS, and I have no intention of making their task easier,” added the accused former Senate Speaker in his conversation with wp.pl.
Earlier, the Prosecutor’s Office submitted a request to the Senate to grant permission to hold the former Senate Speaker accountable for criminal charges. However, with the support of senators from Civic Coalition (KO), he managed to avoid responsibility.
A statement published on the website of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Szczecin read that an “indictment has been filed against 30 individuals involved in a corruption scheme related to the implementation of surgical obesity treatment (so-called bariatric) procedures at the Prof. Alfred Sokołowski Specialized Hospital in Szczecin from 2008 to 2019.”
“The scheme involved demanding money from patients in the amount of 10,000 PLN in exchange for admitting them to the hospital outside the formal waiting list and performing a procedure whose cost was reimbursed by the National Health Fund. Payments from patients were accepted into the account of the Transplantology Aid Foundation in Szczecin and, through it, partially transferred to the doctors employed in the hospital. As a result, patients who made payments underwent surgery within a few months of declaring such a payment, while the waiting time for other individuals for bariatric surgery averaged about 2 years,” it was emphasized.
The statement also pointed out that “the originator and initiator of the described method of receiving payments from so-called bariatric patients was Tomasz G., the former Director of the Specialized Hospital named after Prof. Alfred Sokołowski in Szczecin-Zdunowo, as well as the founder of the Transplantology Aid Foundation, who effectively made decisions within that entity.” The prosecutor’s statement indicated that individuals suspected of corruption and money laundering crimes could face sentences ranging from 1 year to 10 years of imprisonment, while accountant Urszula M. faces a fine or imprisonment for up to 2 years (or both penalties combined).