The CEO of Iceland's Landspítali National University Hospital, Björn Zoëga, has handed in his resignation, rúv.is reports. He names several reasons for his resignation, in particular the hospital’s lack of funds. He says that unfortunately necessary improvements are not on the horizon.
According to Björn, Landspítali and its staff have undergone significant changes in the six years that he has been CEO and chief medical executive. “In this period, demands for drastic budget cuts have been met while adequate level of service and results have been maintained,” he declared in a statement and added: “I have repeatedly pointed it out to the government that budget cuts at Landspítali have reached its limit and that further cuts would lead us to dire straits. I have emphasized my fundamental principal that the time to rebuild is now; status quo is simply not an option. By that I mean that not only must the hospital’s operational budget be increased; the framework for its entire future operation is on the line. A new Landspítali is the prerequisite for us to be able to run a modern hospital service, which attracts qualified staff and provides good service.”
This is the second time in just over a year that Björn Zoëga decides to resign as CEO. He also did so last year after having been offered a position abroad. Following a dialogue with the then minister of health, he decided to withdraw his resignation. At that time he was promised an increased budget for buying new equipment, as well as other things that would improve the hospital’s conditions and services. He was also supposed to receive a pay raise, which then fell through following harsh criticism voiced by the hospital staff.
Of late there has been an ongoing discussion of Landspítali University Hospital’s poor standing, including lack of physicians, too much workload on the staff and operational difficulties.