New interim manager takes over at UKC Ljubljana hospital

Ljubljana – Jože Golobič was named acting director general of the Ljubljana University Medical Centre (UKC) to succeed Janez Poklukar, who was appointed new health minister on Tuesday. Golobič has so far served as chairman of the UKC Ljubljana council.

Golobič will serve until a new director general is appointed but not more than a year, under a decision taken unanimously by the UKC Ljubljana council on Wednesday.

Alenka Kolar succeeds him as council chair until the terms of current members of the council end in April. Procedures are under way to appoint new representatives of UKC Ljubljana staff and the Health Ministry.

The new council will publish a call for applications and appoint the new director general, Kolar told reporters.

Golobič, who chaired the council for the past three years, said he accepted the job to ensure continuity in the implementation of projects, including a major investment drive where any delay “could lead to unsuccessful implementation of a project or loss of EU funds”.

He said continuity was also important because the Covid-19 epidemic is not over yet. UKC Ljubljana would focus as soon as possible and to the greatest possible extent on the services that had to be suspended in line with the exit strategy.

“The biggest challenge will be providing safe and quality care for the Slovenian population while allowing the expertise to develop,” he said.

Poklukar left the medical centre in “quite good shape and prepared for new feats”, but some problems such as staff shortages and excessive workload on the staff remain.

Golobič could not yet reveal the financial results for last year, beyond saying that UKC Ljubljana posted a loss, “which will be very low” and lower than projected.

Asked whether he would apply to head the medical centre for full term, he said it was too early to say but for the time being he believed he would like to continue his career as a lawyer.

He is a partner in the law firm Brezavšček, Golobič, Osterman in Partnerji. Earlier he served in the UN as a special advisor for the restructuring of the public utility sector in the Brčko District in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

He has also held senior posts at the Ljubljana public utilities.