Three medical professionals receive Order of Merit

Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor has awarded the Order of Merit to three medical doctors – Postojna Maternity Hospital director Aleksander Merlo, head of the intensive care unit at UKC Ljubljana Marko Noč, and head of the vascular diseases department at UKC Ljubljana Aleš Blinc.

Merlo, a gynecologist, was honoured for his outstanding professional work and for successfully introducing new approaches in the field of obstetrics.

The President’s Office said that Merlo was always able to respond to the wishes of patients, couples and families, and that the Postojna Maternity Hospital had become a role model for others under his management.

Upon receiving the award, Merlo said that the Postojna Maternity Hospital hasdgrown and become a renowned institution, with patients from all over the world and about 1,000 major operations per year.

Noč, the head of the intensive care unit at the University Medical Centre (UKC) Ljubljana, received the Order of Merit for outstanding professional and scientific work and for expressing “loud and vocal concerns for the functioning of healthcare in Slovenia”.

“Alongside his work, Noč finds the time, energy and courage to be a vocal critic of the functioning and financing of our healthcare system. He has been a committed participant in the debate on the prices of medicines and medical equipment,” the president’s office said.

After receiving the award, Noč said that now is certainly not the right time for regulations in healthcare due to the Covid-19 epidemic, but added that the time to get back to regulating the field with renewed vigour was coming.

Blinc, the head of the vascular diseases department at UKC Ljubljana, was rewarded for his outstanding professional work and for his major contribution to the prevention and understanding of cardiovascular diseases.

Upon receiving the honour, Blinc said that he wanted Slovenia to become a knowledge-based society, a society with a green industry, and with a healthcare system that was competent enough to adequately treat other diseases alongside Covid-19.