The Slovenia Times

Janez Poklukar picked for new head of UKC Ljubljana


If appointed, the forty-year-old internal medicine specialist will succeed Teodor Žepič, who took over as acting director in March after Aleš Šabeder left the post to take over as health minister.

Board chair Jože Golobič told the press that Poklukar's programme was the best of the four candidates interviewed today.

According to Golobič, Poklukar said "that you can only tighten the belt so far and that he intends to turn to the market to create funds".

Golobič added that the board was very happy with Poklukar's track record and said that the Jesenice hospital was the first among Slovenia's hospitals to complete a restructuring programme which most of them underwent in the face of poor financial performance.

The Jesenice hospital is in the black and operating exemplary, said Golobič. "It is much smaller than UKC, but it sets an example that should be applied at the country's biggest hospital as well." Poklukar has been Jesenice hospital director for five years.

Golobič expressed expectation that Šabeder, who is currently abroad, will approve the choice in the coming days.

Poklukar was one of four candidates interviewed by the hospital board today. Among them was former president of the Medical Chamber Gordana Živčec Kalan and Mihael Babič, a secretary at the government secretariat general.

Poklukar is set to become the 15th director of the country's biggest hospital, established in 1968, and the eighth in the past decade.

The challenges awaiting the next UKC Ljubljana director are substantial. The hospital failed to complete its financial restructuring and generated a EUR 22.4 million loss last year.

Perhaps the biggest challenge will be the balancing act of mediating interpersonal relations in the hospital that employs 8,000 people.

Talking to the press, Poklukar expressed satisfaction and said he wanted to start working and show results as soon as possible.

Poklukar believes that he will get the green light from the minister, as the support of the board was unanimous. He hopes to repeat the "more or less" successful restructuring of Jesenice hospital at UKC Ljubljana.

The head of the in-house trade union at UKC Ljubljana, Vladimir Lazić, told the STA that the union had heard good things about Poklukar's work from employees of Jesenice hospital.

The union expects the new head to strive for the preservation of public healthcare and a high level of services provided by UKC Ljubljana.


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