After 24 years and 160 million euros spent, the abandoned buildings of University Hospital Zagreb serve only as a clear proof of incompetence in asset management, both in the city of Zagreb and in whole Croatia. The valuable facility which is about 1.5 kilometres long is still waiting for its final fate to be determined. The resumption of construction has remained a utopian dream which year after year, through different ideas, returns into the focus of attention, usually just before another round of local elections, reports Poslovni.hr on January 6, 2017.
Plans have been changed many times, from a hospital to a technology park to a spa complex, but nothing ever came out of it all. The unfinished hospital still stands at the entrance to the city, waiting for final decision. One possibility is for Zagreb to turn the complex into a hospice. That is an idea proposed by HNS’s candidate for Zagreb Mayor Anka Mrak-Taritaš, who worked herself on the construction of the hospital many years ago.
According to calculations, during the first of two phases, Mrak-Taritaš would finish 10,000 of the total of 250,000 square metres of the whole facility, which would cost about 1,500 euros per square metre. “Each stage should be a functional unit, independent of other phases, and must be able to function independently. Specifically, in the first stage, we would finish a space for rehabilitation and education of children and youth with disabilities, and a space in which we would move the special hospital for children with neurodevelopmental disorders, while in the second phase we would open a hospice”, said Mrak-Taritaš.
However, before anything else, it is necessary to solve the property ownership issues. “University Hospital in located in Zagreb, but it is also a state project. So, we should either continue with the joint project between the state and the city, or we should define the role of the City of Zagreb in the project”, she said and added that the site presented a great potential because all necessary infrastructure had already been built.
Several groups of experts from other parts of Europe have visited Zagreb in order to present some new ideas and talk about the possible completion of the hospital, which would require, according to some estimates, around 260 million euros, while other estimates put the figure closer to 500 million euros.
However, no idea has ever progressed beyond the estimates, said Taritaš. How much time would such a large project demand would depend on the analysis of the current situation, but she believes that, with perseverance, the project could be realized.
The construction of the University Hospital in Zagreb was started in the 1980s, but was not finished due to financial issues. Many promises have been made in the meantime about its completion, but the whole complex has not changed much since then, with the exception of looters and weather leaving their mark.