Oncology Institute in Ljubljana to be expanded

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Ljubljana – Due to growing needs for space and a rise in cancer cases in Slovenia, the Oncology Institute in Ljubljana plans to expand its buildings with the support of the Health Ministry. The value of two expansion projects has been estimated at EUR 13-19 million.

According to Andreja Uštar, director general of the country’s main cancer treatment hospital, the lack of staff and rooms became an even bigger problem during the Covid pandemic.

She said the ministry had already endorsed some solutions. The institute plans to upgrade the building H with money envisaged in the act on investments in health and build a tower next to it, which should provide for half of the additional rooms needed.

Health Minister Janez Poklukar said the tower would provide 2,000 additional square metres of surfaces, and just as much would be provided with the expansion of the existing buildings D, E and H.

The D and E buildings have been in use since 2007.

The minister said that both projects, estimated at EUR 13-19 million, had been endorsed and that documentation was now being prepared.

The number of newly discovered cancer cases has doubled since 1997, when 8,600 cases were recorded, he said.

Uštar said one long-term idea was to move the institute to a new location.

Poklukar noted that cancer was the number one cause of death for men in Slovenia and number two for women. He said that a record high response to invitations for scanning of women had been recorded last year as part of the national cancer prevention programme DORA.

The government also announced the expansion of the oncology ward of the UKC Maribor hospital a month ago. EUR 56.6 million will be invested there, with the ministry providing EUR 56.2 million.