It is clear to everyone that the Mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković, is one of the main culprits for the current dramatic cataclysm of the healthcare system in the capital. Even the current Minister of Health, Danijel Bešič Loredan, made this clear to him publicly, in a not-so-subtle manner. However, Janković lives in his own world. Instead of spending all day at City Hall, dealing with the situation, he decided to mingle with “his people,” who were desperately waiting in line for medical help, and provoked them.
The Minister of Health, Danijel Bešič Loredan, recently criticised the Mayor of the capital over staffing problems in the Ljubljana Community Health Centre. On Wednesday, Bešič Loredan even accused Janković of wanting to close two units of the Health Centre in order to be able to sell the land on which they stand. On Wednesday, on the show “24ur Zvečer,” Bešič Loredan also said that he would never accept the instructions of the Mayor of Ljubljana, who told him to leave the Ljubljana Community Health Centre alone. “If 30 doctors leave the Health Centre in two years, the management, the Mayor, and the municipality, which is the founder of the Ljubljana Community Health Centre, are responsible for that,” he said.
The Minister also blames the Mayor
Just a few days before the show, the Health Minister said that the Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković had “kindly warned” him to leave the Community Health Centre Ljubljana and its director alone, but Bešič Loredan assured the public that “they are working on solving the situation.” With this, he was referring to the extraordinary administrative control of the Ljubljana Community Health Centre. “The Ministry of Health’s focus on the shortage of doctors in the Ljubljana Community Health Centre alone unjustifiably makes patients feel uncomfortable, which is definitely not good, neither for the residents nor for the healthcare workers,” representatives of the Health Centre responded at the time.
It increasingly seems like the Minister of Health and the Mayor of Ljubljana are trying to pass the blame for the situation to each other. While it is almost unbelievable that the Minister does not even want to accept the objective blame of an official, on the other hand, it is clear that the municipality, or rather its leader, is responsible for the situation in the municipality’s health centres – that is to say, Mayor Janković.
Nothing is ever Janković’s fault
But the fact that Janković, just like his former subordinate (now Prime Minister) Robert Golob, has a complete lack of sense of personal or objective guilt, has always been clear. Everything that happened during his term in office – from the deterioration of Stožice, to the Gratel bribery, the bugging in the pharmacist scandal – all of it was due to external conspiracies, economic externalities and rotten capitalism. He has never been guilty of anything himself – except for when it comes to the city centre, which he has rebuilt in a very tasteless manner, that he acts as if he had laid the ugly granite blocks himself.
And this time, the situation is no different. He came to the Bežigrad Health Centre himself, to harass the patients. The situation would be comical if it were not so sad, because the waiting room in question was full of personal tragedies. One of the officials with the highest number of criminal complaints filed against him in the country went into the waiting room to argue with ordinary people, as if he were Nicholas Maduro, who once went to talk to the people to promote the Maduro diet. This is something that is really only possible in post-communist or communist countries. At least without consequences for the Mayor. He was explaining to the people that in Slovenia, we have 130,000 people without a doctor, while in Ljubljana, there are only 2,500 (?!). A desperate patient asked him if it was his own fault that he was without a doctor, and the Mayor replied, quite unironically, “But it’s my fault!?”
Antonija Poplas Sušič is the Mayor’s fault
Yes, actually, it is the Mayor’s fault. Last year, when Antonija Poplas Susič took over as director of the Ljubljana Health Centre (which Janković threatened the Minister to leave alone), according to the Minister himself, a whole bunch of employees left their jobs, including 33 family doctors, in addition to the IT specialists and the head of the human resources department.
Among other things, Bešič Loredan accused the director of working more hours in a private institution than in the public Ljubljana Community Health Centre. Namely, Poplas Susič is the owner of the Multimedicus healthcare institution. She also has two concessions from the Municipality of Ljubljana, and she rents the laboratory and informatics at a favourable price from the Community Health Centre Ljubljana, the Minister said. He also pointed out that the director is employed in her own institution 20 percent, where she performs medical work, whereas she does not do so in the Ljubljana Community Health Centre. Once again, this is the director whom the Mayor threatened the Minister not to touch. A director who has personally ensured that a whole bunch of family doctors have left their posts. The Mayor’s cynicism, therefore, really knows no bounds.
They would vote for him again
It is actually quite tragic to see the desperate people of Ljubljana staring at the Mayor, knowing that he is talking nonsense and that he wants to absolve himself of blame instead of looking for solutions, because he is the only one in charge. Yet there is an even worse tragedy of the naivety of the Slovenian people – if the elections were held again tomorrow, they would go straight from the Health Centre to the polls and vote for Zoran Janković again. No one will help them if they do not help themselves. The same applies to all citizens at a national level with regard to the direction in which the country is being steered by Robert Golob and his government.
We have received clarifications from the Ljubljana Community Health Centre regarding the crowds at the Health Centre Bežigrad, which we are publishing in its entirety below:
“On the 3rd of January 2023, two family medicine doctors started working in the Bežigrad unit, one in the 0.6 scope of the programme and the other in the 1.0 scope of the programme. In line with the phasing in process, it was planned that the two doctors would first familiarise themselves with the working environment, the premises, the services, the support services, and the policies and internal instructions, and then start accepting patients a few days later. The news of the presence of the new doctors spread, and we were unexpectedly confronted with a large number of people from Ljubljana and elsewhere, who had contacted the Health Centre, so the two doctors started accepting new patients immediately.
We are very sorry that the good news about the new doctors, who will accept a total of around 2500 people, has led to waiting and to late night and early morning arrivals at the Health Centre. We gave out numbers to all those waiting in the morning and told them they could come back later, and invited them inside as soon as the unit opened. We identified all the people who arrived outside the Bežigrad unit in the morning hours today. We would like to thank all the patients who were tolerant and understanding.
In accordance with the rules of compulsory health insurance, the process of being accepted by the chosen doctor involves the completion of a document – the Declaration of Choice of Personal Doctor, which is signed by the patient at the time of identification. The patient also gets to know the doctor, the regular way of working in the clinic, and the doctor’s availability hours.
Based on the experience of the last few days, we will be inviting patients to apply to the doctors in the next week. We will give priority to calling the most vulnerable groups – the elderly and chronic patients over 65 who have lost a doctor in the Bežigrad unit, where they also have a medical record. Therefore, we inform all patients to come to the Bežigrad Health Centre for identification only in case of receiving a call and an appointment.”