Milanović, who was visiting the northern Adriatic peninsula of Istria to attend an exhibition staged on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the first national revival gathering of the Croats of Istria and Kvarner, commented on the Health Ministry having sent an inspection team to the hospital to investigate allegations of unlawful activities.
“I believe it is a disastrous example of neglect, mismanagement. It describes best what has been going on at that hospital for a year. After a conflict between the minister and a doctor working there, the case should have been solved by dismissing either him or her,” he said.
Milanović’s statement was a reference to Dijana Zadravec, the head of the hospital’s radiology department, who has been replaced over poor interpersonal relations that have resulted in a large number of radiologists leaving the hospital and who claims that hospital funds are used for private interests and that corruption and crime are being covered up.
Zadravec has said that she is in conflict with “the heads of hospital departments who own private hospitals and work to the benefit of those hospitals while using the resources of the public health system.”
The person in charge of deciding on the matter, the prime minister, let the situation escalate, said Milanović, noting that the PM could have dealt with it sooner.
“A year later, there is no one left… This is a serious matter and it must not happen because it undermines the little trust left in the health system,” Milanović said.
Decision on fighter jets not made
Asked to comment on the purchase of fighter jets following media reports that Croatia has opted for used French aircraft, Milanović said that a decision had not been made.
“I don’t know who published that because a decision has not been made, so (the reports) make no sense,” he said.
Asked if he insisted on US planes, Milanović said that he had never insisted on US planes.
“I only said that the USA is our main partner, but that does not mean that we have to buy planes from them. I have been saying over the past year that I will support any choice the government makes. Both bids are good. One should take care of Croatia’s interests,” he said.
On COVID-19 passes
Commenting on COVID-19 passes, he said that if people got vaccinated more, there would be no need for those passes.
I will lay wreaths less and less
PM Plenković has said that there will be no joint laying of wreaths by state officials until the end of his term, to which Milanović today said that he would lay wreaths less and less, “except in cases of major national anniversaries.”
He noted that apart from keeping florists working, wreaths were also a serious public sanitation problem because they attracted rodents.
“In the future, I will carry roses, a stone, a carnation wherever that is possible,” he said, noting that the point was about commemorating people and events together.
“If he (Plenković) does not want it, so be it. We sat down at the table yesterday and did our job. According to his interpretation of the relations between the president and the prime minister, he was putting on an act. He was not, he was doing his job. I don’t do all things I have to do with equal enthusiasm and pleasure either,” said Milanović.
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