Office of the President of the Republic > Press centre
President of the Republic on the Occasion of Opening the New Oncology Institute
Ljubljana, 10/25/2007 | press release, speech
The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Janez Drnovšek, today attended as a guest of honour the grand opening of the new premises of the Oncology Institute Ljubljana. In his address he said the following:
“Dear ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to join you on this happy occasion and that today we can finally celebrate the opening of the new Oncology Institute. Patients, as well as all the doctors and medical personnel, deserve to have these better conditions for work and health treatments. On this occasion I would like to give you three short opinions and messages.
My first message is that the oncological treatment of cancer is the only effective treatment. There is no alternative to this health treatment. When cancer is diagnosed, in most cases the disease develops more or less rapidly, and then there is no time for a patient to be healed in such a way that his or her defence capacity, the body’s self-defence mechanism, can be improved in order to defend itself. Time has already passed by, and in a situation when the patient is far advanced, only aggressive means such as chemotherapy or radiation, or means used by oncology, can help against an aggressive cancer. Any healer or bioenergetic healer or anyone else who says that they can stop such advanced cancer is a charlatan.
You may be surprised to hear me say that, since many people believe that I prefer alternative treatment to the ‘official’ medicine. This is not true: my case was slightly different. It was a rather rare case of slowly advancing, non-aggressive cancer that was also resistant to chemotherapy and radiation. Therefore I had enough time available to find ways to increase the body’s self-defence mechanism, and no alternative healers helped me in this, as I often hear or read. Nature helped me the most, which is in my opinion still the best healer. Today I tell this firstly to express my appreciation of your work, and secondly, to discontinue the abuse of my name by various healers offering solutions to people in need who grasp at any straw in order to possibly avoid such a harsh treatment as chemotherapy. In this, alternative healers more or less use people’s distress for the sole purpose of making money.
My second message is that it is of major importance for everyone – doctors, medical staff and patients alike – to remain in these new premises as serene, positive and optimistic as possible. I believe this to be of extreme importance also for the outcome of the treatment itself. If patients, faced with the shock of a diagnosis, fall into a spiral of despair, a spiral of fears and worries, this could lead them into an even more desperate situation. However, on the contrary, a positive attitude, a serenity even in such a most difficult situation, helps very much for a more effective and successful treatment.
This also holds true for doctors and medical workers, who can greatly contribute to this positive atmosphere, thus helping patients as well as themselves. It is very difficult to work years and years in a tense atmosphere, full of desperation and misery. Sooner or later this will also affect medical workers themselves, so it is very important that they try to think positively, thus helping patients and themselves.
The third message: Although our Oncology Institute is highly proficient, I have noticed a deficiency which is typical of our health care in general – a significant gap in telemedicine or electronic treatment. Telemedicine is progressing rapidly in the world. By this I do not mean only distant robotic surgeries, which have already been performed, and which, of course, can also be useful, and can be performed by the best surgeons anywhere in the world without their presence. I find it even more important that telemedicine, with the use of appropriate information technologies, enables permanent and immediate consultations between doctors. This is possible within the institute itself or within the University Medical Centre Ljubljana and within Slovenia, as well as with specialists throughout the world, in Europe, the United States and elsewhere. Such immediate consultations and exchange of opinions, also at an interdisciplinary level, could greatly improve the quality of treatment. In order to achieve this, something very ordinary and simple is needed – a different electronic card than we have now. The only purpose of the electronic health card as we have it in Slovenia is registration and confirmation of health insurance, since the card does not contain all health-related data on a patient, nor data on the patient’s medical condition. If the card contained this information, the doctor could observe on his screen the complete medical history of the patient. The same could be done by the doctor he consults with in the US, Europe or elsewhere. Of course, consultation would in this case be completely different. This is not even close to handling papers and medical reports, which, as it appears to me, still prevails in Slovenia. There will be no further development without this. It will be hard to follow the progress in science, in the profession in other parts of the world. I would like to lay this on the heart of the new minister of health, since I believe that this perhaps should be the basic project which the ministry should pursue now and in the near future.
This is what I wanted to say today. For the new Oncology Institute I wish successful work and the best treatment results possible, and I hope the new Oncology Institute shall remain a symbol of excellence and expertise in the field of oncological treatment not only in Slovenia, but also at the global level.
Thank you very much.”