Business excellence award goes to Ptuj health centre

Ljubljana – This year’s national award for business excellence and international five-star excellence certificate EFQM have been bestowed on the Ptuj Community Health Centre. Investment agency Spirit Slovenija welcomed the fact that the winner is a public sector organisation.

The health centre could be a role model in terms of its expertise and organisational management for both Slovenian and foreign health organisations, said Spirit Slovenija, which is in charge of promoting business excellence.

Staff working at the centre are pioneers in many respects and their work an example of good EFQM practice, said Spirit acting head Tomaž Kostanjevec, adding that the agency was pleased this year’s winner came from the public sector.

“We believe that an excellent public sector is also needed for the economic development of Slovenia and support for excellent economic organisations,” he said.

Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said that the centre had received a list of recommendations on top of the award to further improve its business. He believes the organisation will know how to meet these opportunities.

The minister noted that the state was aware that business excellence meant a competitive advantage so it had been providing a number of incentives. However, the government can create an optimal economic environment, the rest is up to individual organisations or companies, he added.

The health centre of Ptuj, a town in the north-east of the country, applied for the title through an open call, competing in a category comprising organisations with more than 250 staff in the public sector.

The jury’s explanation says that the centre is a proactive public institute that boasts not only good management but also expert health and support staff.

“The centre has clearly defined and conveyed values under which the patient comes first,” reads the justification by Spirit.

Receiving the award, the centre’s director Metka Petek Uhan and her assistant Karmen Panikvar, who also heads the business excellence project at the centre, highlighted that the honour was a result of 14 years of work on a quality management system.

The pair described the latter as a strategic decision that serves as a basis for any new measure or novelty at the centre. What is key is agility and staff commitment to the centre, they added.

President Borut Pahor and Public Administration Minister Boštjan Koritnik also congratulated the winner via videoconference.