By: L. K. F./STA
At the correspondence session, the government changed the decision on the establishment of the NIJZ. Following the change, it is envisaged that for the period until the appointment of the expert director, the duties of the expert director will be performed by the acting director, and no longer by the general director of the NIJZ, who is currently Milan Krek. The changes come at a time of hints about dismissing Krek from office. Recall that the function of Dr Krek is professional, not political.
Prior to that, in May 2021, the previous government of Janez Janša adopted an amendment to the decision on the establishment of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), which provided for the introduction of the position of expert director. After the change, the title of director was changed to general director. The NIJZ expert director will be appointed and dismissed by the director general, the government predicted at the time.
These days, the current general director Dr Milan Krek emphasises that the Minister of Health, Danijel Bešič Loredan, is pressuring him to resign. On Sunday, he published a lengthy note on Portal Plus, in which he stated, among other things, that Bešič Loredan told him in one of the telephone conversations that his resignation was demanded by Prime Minister Robert Golob, and that he was “just an executor”.
In today’s statement for the media, Bešič Loredan explained that he had spoken to Krek several times and that the latter did not enjoy his trust. Asked why, he replied that it was because of some of Krek’s moves during the covid-19 epidemic that he did not carry out. He did not explain what the moves were. He reminded that new government representatives in the NIJZ council had been appointed at the first government session.
Krek stated in his record that these are “individuals who are members of the expert council for health in the SD party”. In a statement to STA on Friday, he emphasised that he would not resign because he had not been appointed to the position of NIJZ director politically, but based on professional competencies.