The Slovenia Times

Surgeon fired over opposition to hospital's Covid bed plans


Nova Gorica - Danijel Bešič Loredan, the head of the Nova Gorica general hospital's orthopaedic ward, has received an extraordinary termination due to his opposition to moving patients from his ward to expand the hospital's capacities for Covid-19 patients.

Confirming the news for the STA on Tuesday, he said the management had closed the ward three times in two years, while there had been no talks in the summer on what to do with Covid patients if the situation should deteriorate to the point where the country is now.

"I insisted it's not possible to close the ward if we want to treat patients who need 'urgent' or 'very fast' treatment," said Bešič Loredan, accusing the management of playing "a dirty game that is not necessary in this situation".

He finds it unacceptable that there are 60 or more empty beds at the hospital's new building that could be used for Covid patients if the hospital had taken a different organisational approach. He believes this means that with the same number of staff, other programmes could also be carried out at 30% capacity.

He hopes the new director, who was recently appointed by the hospital's council, will be endorsed by the government as soon as possible to put the regional hospital at the level it deserves and to take care of patients.

Bešič Loredan intends to prove in court that his extraordinary termination of employment was unlawful.

The hospital's acting director Ernest Gortan said he was "forced to initiate certain legal proceedings against" the doctor over his opposition to the Covid reorganisation plans.

"We have merged surgery wards [...] All heads complied with the decision except the orthopaedic ward head Bešič Loredan. He was opposed arguing the conditions in the main building were not safe enough for patients," Gortan said.

The director then ordered for the patients to be moved to the Valdoltra orthopaedic hospital, but the doctor again failed to comply thus "jeopardising the hospital's ability to efficiently cope with the Covid epidemic".

The doctor has been banned from work at the hospital and is awaiting an interview. He was first issued a written warning and then a violation warning with an invitation for an interview.

An attempt was made to hand him the warning at the hospital, but as he failed to come into work that day without excusing himself, the paperwork was to be handed to him at his home address.

The hospital's medical director Dunja Savnik Winkler said that Bešič Loredan was not fully employed at the hospital; since summer he had only worked 60% of the full time at his own request.

Earlier she said the orthopaedic ward had been moved to another floor where there are several other wards, while some of the staff had been assigned to the Covid ward.


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