Govt endorses new UKC director

Ljubljana – The government endorsed on Thursday the decision of the council of UKC Ljubljana, Slovenia’s largest medical centre, to appoint acting director Jože Golobič for a full term. He starts his four-year term today, the government said.

Golobič took over as acting director in February after Janez Poklukar left to become health minister.

He was picked among three applicants, one of them being Gordana Živčec Kalan, a former president of the Medical Chamber.

He was appointed for a full term pending the government’s approval at the end of September.

In a statement he said at the time that leading the country’s largest medical centre was probably the biggest challenge in his life. He said he would strive to put patients first and work for the well-being and professional development of staff.

The government took two months to approve the appointment, which triggered speculation that this is due to media reports about alleged irregularities in the use of aid to the Pomurje region by companies owned by Golobič.

Asked about this, Health Minister Janez Poklukar said he had not been acquainted with this and that the ministry had forwarded all required documents to the government immediately after Golobič had been appointed by the council.

Golobič is the 16th director of UKC Ljubljana. The hospital’s directors changed frequently in the last decade, first due to scandals and then to become ministers, as was the case with the last two – Aleš Šabeder and Poklukar.

UKC Ljubljana is by far the biggest health institution in the country. At the end of last year, it had almost 8,500 employees and over 2,100 beds.