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Coronavirus: Investigation Finds Dismissed Hospital Director Made No Mistakes

Fanni Kaszás 2020.05.13.

An internal investigation at the St. György Hospital in Székesfehérvár found that István Csernavölgyi, former director of the institution, who was replaced a month ago by the Minister of Human Resources for failing to provide electronic data during the pandemic, did not make the mistake he was accused of, according to information of Hungarian news portal hvg.hu

The investigation was launched by the new director general, László Bucsi, who confirmed the liberal newspaper’s report on Monday. Bucsi justified the initiation of the internal investigation by saying that “something was amiss” in the case of the replacement of former director, István Csernavölgyi.

Back then, he said that if the investigation finds that the dismissed director is “clean,” then Csernavölgyi can add the result to a “further process, which he will start.” Bucsi said if the process ends with Csernavölgyi’s reinstatement, Bucsi will step down from his post the moment he receives the decision. Csernavölgyi had previously indicated that he was filing a labor lawsuit, but now he did not want to comment on the developments of the case, nor did the Ministry of Human Resources.

In mid-April, the government began to prepare for possible mass coronavirus infections and, in connection, to increase the number of available space in hospitals. The Ministry of Human Resources had instructed these institutions to free up 60% of their beds in just a matter of days. Meanwhile, several hospital directors were fired for failing to adhere to strict regulations made during the state-of-emergency.

Coronavirus: Hastened Preparation for Mass Infections Leads to Dismissal of Hospital Directors and Controversy

One of the fired hospital directors was István Csernavölgyi, who served as the director at the St. György Hospital in Fejér County for 10 years. Minister of Human Resources Miklós Kásler, called on the director to leave his position with the reason that the institution failed to provide electronic data on time during the coronavirus epidemic. Back then, Csernavölgyi said he believes such a mistake can happen anywhere.

Székesfehérvár’s Fidesz Mayor András Cser-Palkovics, silently echoed his dissent about the way Kásler fired Csernavölgyi, as he wasn’t informed about the decision (although he noted that’s not an obligation either).

Coronavirus: Dismissal of Hospital Directors Causes Uproar Even in Fidesz-circles

When leaving, the hospital decorated Csernavölgyi with the hospital’s award and the staff cheered him with a several minutes-long standing ovation. He later said that although he still doesn’t understand the exact reasons for his removal, he plans to be back at the hospital at a later time. “Although my heart was ripped out, you gave me back my faith,” he told the staff. 

The official reason for Csernavölgyi’s dismissal was that the institution was late in providing data on the virus situation. The former director said however, that the hospital always transmitted the information accurately over the phone and although it is not a director-general’s responsibility, but an administrative task, he “organized patient care at all hours of the day and focused on resolving the epidemiological situation.”

The internal investigation found that the temporary director general and medical director István Reiber was responsible for the late provision of epidemiological data, on the basis of which Miklós Kásler replaced Csernavölgyi. However, on April 17th, István Reiber resigned as medical director on the request of the new general director, Bucsi.

featured photo: archive photo via László Beliczay/MTI


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