The UKC Ljubljana hospital opened on Sunday new premises for Covid-19 patients which currently feature 56 beds. The location may be expanded to receive up to 100 patients.
Announcing the opening in a video statement, UKC Ljubljana director general Janez Poklukar said that the facilities had been made ready in only ten days, as the country is rushing to secure additional beds for Covid-19 patients.
Poklukar added that the new premises in Slovenia’s main hospital were also fully equipped when it came to providing food, cleaning, waste collection and logistics.
If the condition of some of the patients deteriorates and they need intensive care, this will be provided at the same location.
The new premises currently feature two zones, and the plan is to have a total of six zones for Covid-19 patients, each being able to receive 25 patients, Poklukar said.
The development is seen as an important part of efforts to fight the epidemic and when Prime Minister Janez Janša visited UKC Ljubljana on 28 October, he urged for a quick transformation of the premises.
Spanning more than 1,700 square metres, the space had been left undeveloped for over a decade, with the plan being that it house a diagnostic and therapeutic service complex.
Poklukar said the UKC Ljubljana employees had been waiting for 12 years for the new premises to be finished, adding that eventually, the extension to the main building would house 44 intensive care units and four operating theatres.
Tatjana Lejko Zupanc, the head of the UKC Ljubljana Department of Infectious Diseases, added that all beds intended for Covid-19 patients in the hospital were occupied, while there were some beds left in the intensive care unit.
Speaking at the daily government briefing today, Poklukar said that the hospital would start immediately accommodating patients there. “If necessary, we’ll get involved in resolving the situation in Pomurje.”
The eastern Pomurje region has seen an uptick in infections and hospital admissions in recent days and the Murska Sobota Hospital is close to capacity.
Beyond that, Poklukar said the new space would be helpful in the exit strategy, as Covid-19 patients will be concentrated there once the hospital figures start to decline so that other health services can be relaunched when other departments currently housing Covid-19 patients are emptied.
The new space was fully furnished by the contractor for EUR 2.4 million. The hospital had to buy additional beads and equipment, bringing the price tag to EUR 3.3 million. Some of the equipment has been relocated from other parts of the hospital, some was provided by the Civil Protection.
Poklukar thanked everyone involved in getting the new space ready, among them the Civil Protection, the army, the Ljubljana municipality and the hospital employees. “I’m sure UKC Ljubljana currently has the best team it has ever had.”