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Kraków, Żeromski hospital. Director Lech Kucharski used the hospital's money to buy cigars for President Majchrowski

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The director of the Żeromski municipal hospital in Krakow, Lech Kucharski, bought cigars for the then departing mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski, and the expense was covered from the funds of the facility he managed. When a journalist asked about the matter, the director made a donation to the hospital, which ends the matter for the officials.

Journalist Mateusz Kudła received information that the director of the Żeromski Hospital, Lech Kucharski, bought cigars for the outgoing president of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski, using the money from the facility he manages.

Before becoming director, Kucharski was a city councilor from the presidential Przyjazny Kraków club. He was appointed head of the hospital in March this year, and has been acting director since September 2023.

Żeromski Hospital in KrakowTVN24

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Hospital cigars for Jacek Majchrowski

As we found out, the cigars for the president cost exactly PLN 2,126. In response to our questions, the spokeswoman for the Żeromski Hospital informed that the cigars were purchased in March this year. It was the end of the last term of office of Jacek Majchrowski, who had been in power for almost 22 years. The gift was presented in the same month on the hospital premises.

Director of Żeromski Hospital in Krakow, Lech KucharskiTVN24

We sent questions regarding this matter to the Krakow clinic on April 30. Initially, director Kucharski did not want to answer it, citing the good of the prosecutor's investigation, which, however, concerns a completely different issue. Later responses from the facility show that the director transferred PLN 3,000 as a donation to the hospital account. When we asked for details, it turned out that the “refinancing” took place on April 30. On the same day that questions regarding the purchase of cigars landed in the hospital's mailbox.

Krakow officials do not see a problem. In response to our questions, Artur Pocielej, acting director of the Corporate Governance Office of the Krakow City Hall, announced on May 17 that “the hospital confirmed the purchase of cigars as a gift for the outgoing president.”

“The purchase was financed by a donation made for this purpose by the hospital director. Therefore, the hospital did not incur any costs, the director returned the entire amount to the hospital,” replied the director.

Former president Jacek Majchrowski is known for his passion for cigars. He even stayed twice punished for smoking them in his office.

President Jacek Majchrowski with a cigar (archive photo)TVN24

“The president should not have accepted the gift”

When asked about the case, attorney Jolanta Budzowska, legal advisor and expert in patient rights, emphasizes that “the president should not tolerate or approve such unethical actions.”

The expert added that every donation to the hospital is public income and is part of public funds, therefore these funds should be allocated to public expenses. – The income equivalent to expenses on cigars does not achieve the statutory goal of the hospital, which is to provide health services and promote health – noted Jolanta Budzowska.

– The president, as a representative of the administration and local government, should not have accepted such a gift due to its inappropriateness, and the director acted unethically and promoted the addiction to smoking, contrary to the obligation to promote health – said Budzowska.

The hospital belongs to the city, so the mayor of Krakow was obliged, in accordance with the regulations, – as part of the supervision of the medical entity – to check not only the compliance of the purchase with the law, but also its “advisability, economy and reliability”, as indicated by the Act on medical activities.

After the end of the term, contact with the former president is difficult.

Purchasing cigars may also constitute a violation of the Act on health protection against the consequences of using tobacco and tobacco products, the first article of which states that “government administration and local government bodies are obliged to take actions aimed at protecting health against the consequences of tobacco use.” Such protection includes, among others: “health promotion by promoting a lifestyle free from the addiction of smoking cigarettes, using other tobacco products and smoking electronic cigarettes, as well as educational and information activities.” And hospitals are particularly obliged to promote health.

Controversy around the hospital

This is not the first time recently that we have described on tvn24.pl the controversy surrounding the Specialist Hospital. Stefan Żeromski in Kraków, one of the largest medical centers in Lesser Poland. Mateusz Kudła, in a TVN24 report, revealed information about irregularities that may have occurred at the facility in connection with disappearing narcotic drugs and a doctor putting drugs into his drip while admitting patients. In turn, at the end of April we revealed that cameras in this facility illegally recorded not only image, but also sound – after these reports the proceedings were initiated by the Patient Ombudsman. The Ombudsman also intervened regarding the violation of a woman's dignitywho gave birth to a child in the hospital.

Read also: Police and experts at the hospital where the doctor allegedly took fentanyl. First witnesses heard.

Author:Bartłomiej Plewnia

Main photo source: TVN24

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