The head of the Split Hospital, Julije Mestrovic, who has tendered his resignation over a patient identification error, on Tuesday once again apologised for the misidentification of two female patients, one of whom has died, saying that he had resigned due to a feeling of moral responsibility.
"We have started an internal inspection into the incident and will continue providing the public with detailed information. We will investigate all the details because the system must function. I will do my best so that the hospital continues operating," Mestovic said, thanking the patients' families for understanding and apologising to them.
He said that he would continue serving as the hospital director until the hospital's steering board decided on the matter and that patients would continue to be provided with adequate care.
The patient identification error happened in April, when hospital staff mixed up the identities of two elderly women suffering from dementia who were brought to the hospital from two nursing homes.
One of the patients was positive for the coronavirus and was returned to the nursing home on Monday, when the nursing home staff realised that the woman was not their resident.
The other woman died in mid-April and was buried in Grude, neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it was discovered on Monday that she had been buried under a wrong identity.
After the mistake was discovered, Mestrovic informed Health Minister Vili Beros of it, launched an internal inspection and tendered his resignation, which is to be considered by the hospital's steering board.
This is the second case of patient identification error at the Split Hospital. The first happened in early May, when two women with the same surname were mixed up. One of them, who did not suffer from the coronavirus infection, was put in a COVID-19 medical facility while the infected woman was returned to her nursing home.