Health Minister sacks Stradiņš Hospital head

Latvia's Health Minister Anda Čakša has sacked Normunds Štāls, a board member of the Stradiņš University Hospital, over delays in the project for building a hospital wing, reported Latvian Radio. 

According to a Health Ministry representative, Štāls had delayed the state-owned hospital from hiring a new company for the second round of construction of the A wing of the hospital, although it had been established that the old contract had to be terminated.

"In this health care situation it's very important for every cent to be spent carefully. As it's evident that the project can be carried out spending dozens of millions less, and the board member responsible for construction projects has not done anything for this to happen, further cooperation is impossible," said Čakša.

Elita Buša is the only remaining board member at the moment as Čakša herself stepped down from the board in December 2015. Head of HR Department Arta Biruma has been appointed as a temporary board member. 

Previously the reconstruction project of the hospital - one of Latvia's largest and employing some 3,000 people - that would see two new hospital wings built had been delayed due to construction mistakes.

The first round of the project has been concluded; however, medics say that the hospital won't be able to function if the second round falls through.

The Finance Ministry insists that a new tender has to be started for the second round of the reconstruction, while the Health Ministry has said that the construction project could be worked out within the bounds of the current agreement and a new tender should be announced for construction.

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