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First an appeal, now an application to the prosecutor’s office. The health committee took up the case of the former head of the Medical Research Agency

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In December, the new Minister of Health, Izabela Leszczyna, dismissed the head of the Medical Research Agency, Radosław Sierpiński. On Tuesday, the Parliamentary Health Committee dealt with the issue of the functioning of ABM in 2019-2023. The most doubtful thing is the certificate thanks to which Sierpiński became the president of the Agency in 2021.

Tuesday’s meeting of the parliamentary health committee had its heroes. Absent, but often mentioned by name. These were the president of the Medical Research Agency, Radosław Sierpiński, dismissed in December, and his patron – former Minister of Health Łukasz Szumowski.

Radosław Sierpiński became the head of ABM in 2019, although he had no qualifications or experience. However, he was an assistant to Łukasz Szumowski, to whom the agency reported and under whom he wrote his PhD thesis a year earlier.

Since Sierpiński did not have the qualifications and experience to be president, he became acting president. – We analyzed the Medical Research Agency spending hundreds of millions of zlotys. It turns out that this agency was an agency of a very small group of people associated with Mr. Szumowski and Mr. Sierpiński – says Bartosz Arłukowicz, chairman of the parliamentary health committee from PO.

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READ ALSO: Over PLN 888 million for the Medical Research Agency. “The benefit of her activities for patients was small”

In 2019, Sierpiński was not suitable for the position of president of ABM because he had neither the habilitation required by law nor three years of experience in a managerial position. But he became acting president, so he already had a management position. It only took three years for Sierpiński to complete his habilitation.

From December 2019 to May 2021, the Ministry of Health did not announce a competition for the position of president of ABM. At that time, the acting president awarded grants for research, among others: companies related to the family of their patron. – Radosław Sierpiński obtained his habilitation in April 2021 at the Medical University of Wrocław. 11 days before the announcement of the competition for the president of ABM, said Marian Banaś, president of the Supreme Audit Office, during the meeting of the parliamentary committee.

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Path unclear

Sierpiński won the competition and officially became president in June 2021. At that time, he had worked at the agency in a managerial position for 25 months. Because it took 36 months, Łukasz Szumowski’s wife came to the rescue. – This three-year period was recognized for him (Sierpiński – editor’s note) after the company, owned by Łukasz Szumowski’s wife, presented a certificate that he was the medical director in this company – says Michał Szczerba.

The Supreme Audit Office has great doubts about the authenticity of this certificate, and the current team at the Ministry of Health has referred the case to the prosecutor’s office. – There are very strong indications that the certificate he (Sierpiński – editor’s note) presented was not true. Then we cannot talk about three years of employment in a managerial position, says Deputy Minister of Health Wojciech Konieczny.

READ ALSO: KO’s afterword: the president of the Medical Research Agency earns money or serves in 11 other entities

Radosław Sierpiński denies the allegations. “I firmly declare that I met all the criteria required in the competition, including the statutory requirement to have three years of experience in human resources management,” he wrote on social media.

– Marian Banaś and his colleagues lied to discredit Professor Radosław Sierpiński. Based on this, Mrs. Leszczyna shortened his term of office as president of ABM and I think that she, not President Sierpiński, will be the subject of the prosecutor’s investigation – says Janusz Cieszyński, deputy minister of health in 2018-2020.

Main photo source: Rafał Guz/PAP

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