Surgeon Roman Bošnjak resigned due to accusations about the transfer of 6,000 euros of private fees to an account in Hong Kong. General Director Marko Jug said that UKC Ljubljana will hand over the necessary documentation to the NPU and the Ministry of Health.
On Wednesday, the news broke that the renowned neurosurgeon Roman Bosniak operated on a citizen of North Macedonia, who in addition to paying 27,000 euros according to the regular price list for a “private fee” had to transfer an additional 6,000 euros to the doctor. According to information from POP TV, the patient had to transfer 6,000 euros to the agency’s bank account in Hong Kong before the procedure, Bošnjak cited tax optimization as the reason for this.
Director of UKC Ljubljana Mark South said in a statement to the media that UKC Ljubljana was in contact with Roman Bošnjak, who is currently abroad, on Thursday. Today, Bošnjak submitted his resignation as head of the clinical department for neurosurgery at UKC. “He does not want to compromise the process of dealing with this case in any way. I have accepted my resignation as CEO,Jug explained, adding that he appointed the acting head of the department to the position Boruta Prestor.
For now, the Bosnian remains as a neurosurgeon at UKC Ljubljana. “If we find out that there are any criminal acts, of course we will act differently,” said Jug. He emphasized that from the official data collected so far, they cannot say that a criminal offense occurred in the relationship between UKC Ljubljana and Bosniak.
He announced that they will strive to ensure that all subsequent procedures run as transparently as possible and that key findings will be reached. The National Investigation Office has also contacted UKC, to which, according to Jug, they will hand over all the necessary documentation. The Ministry of Health will also receive this.
The operation was extended by two hours
The case occurred at the neurosurgery clinic, where a young female patient with a foreign nationality was admitted on February 15. “It was an extremely complex operation for a tumor on the head in the area of the middle ear,” he explained and added that the treatment was successful, and the patient was discharged to home care on February 22. The patient was treated as part of self-pay services, she was issued a preliminary invoice, in which the amount was estimated at 27,694 euros. Assumed was a four-hour operation.
An invoice was then issued after the intervention in the amount of 34,109 euros, as the six-hour surgical intervention was taken into account, as long as it actually lasted. A few additional days in intensive care were also included, and most of the discrepancy in the price was due to the fact that the operation took longer than originally planned, Jug explained.
On January 18, the patient transferred EUR 27,694 to UKC as an advance, and UKC received the funds. The difference of up to 34,109 euros has not yet been settled, i.e. a difference of 6,410 euros. “As the full amount has not yet been settled, the entire surgical team has also not yet received payment, which would otherwise be as much as stipulated in the contract,” explained Jug.
UKC to change the rules, the council will also decide on chargeable operations
“Until last week, UKC Ljubljana did not have a rulebook that defined that all patients treated at UKC Ljubljana should also have an expert opinion from UKC.” As explained by Jug, the rules have been changed. According to the new procedure, an expert opinion within UKC will have to be performed and charged for every self-pay operation, even if the patient was previously treated elsewhere. Every self-pay operation will have to to be presented at the council as well.”If the intervention is too complicated and would represent too much risk for UKC, it may not be performed.”
“If there is a complication during the operation, the bill can multiply three times, four times, even ten times,” he explained and added that this is precisely why they have introduced a new requirement that for each such case a preliminary assessment is made as to whether a self-paying operation is even suitable.”The patient can expect that the cost will be significantly lower than it turns out in the end. Then we have serious problems with recovering the money, even though the service was actually needed and performed on a significantly larger scale,” he explained.
The Medical Chamber of Slovenia has called for an investigation and clarification of the events in the case of the treatment of a girl from North Macedonia as soon as possible. “The practice of highly qualified doctors offering their expertise as consultants in an international environment is not controversial, but it must be carried out in a legal and transparent manner.” As they wrote, they advocate zero tolerance for controversial behavior and it has already initiated procedures to clarify what is happening. It should also provide the state authorities with all the necessary professional support in handling the case.