Day 14 /// Slovakia and Hungary
October 11, 2020
Favorite Fixer of the Trip: Uncle Alex
It was a Sunday morning and we drove up to meet Andrew Mitchell from BioVectra, one of the sponsors, at a scenic castle with incredible views — you could see the whole of Vienna from this spot. We left Andrew and met with trip sponsor Sana- Clis’s Alex Fetkovsky, who we nicknamed “Uncle Alex,” because he fit perfectly into the role of the proactive doer and fixer. Alex invited us into his home, his offices, and the logistics warehouse, which is also serving as SanaClis’ Bratislava location. In addition to being very accommodating and illuminating us about post-pandemic changes to clinical trials, Alex offered us to set us up with personal contacts in Croatia and Hungary.
The day led us to Bratislava’s old town where we came across six students all from six different countries — Russia, Northern Africa, Egypt — all over the place. They were all Ph.D. and Master’s level students, and it’s doubtful we would have encountered them if not for Alex. We headed off and traveled about three hours and thirty-five minutes to Budapest. We had been cautioned that crossing that border would be difficult though luckily encountered no issues. We emerged from this gorgeous tunnel that takes you into the city, and you then cross this beautiful bridge over the Danube River. The city is really picture perfect — it looks just like a postcard, especially with all the buildings lit up at night.
We threw our stuff down in the hotel as quickly as we could and left to meet Dr. Claudia Francesca, a contact of Phill’s. The conversation shifted from life in Budapest to the healthcare system, and she informed us that public healthcare is actually preferable to the private sector — which doesn’t have enough support to be viable. This was the first time where we heard about a public healthcare system trumping the private sector.
THE TEAM MET WITH:
Andrew Mitchell, BioVectra; Alexander Fetkovsky, SanaClis; Dr. Klaudia Franciska Fodor, Fodor Klaudia Law Firm