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Björn Zoëga leaves Karolinska University Hospital

Björn Zoëga, CEO of Karolinska University Hospital, has decided to resign. Patrik Rossi, Deputy CEO and Head of Karolinska's Cancer Theme, is proposed as acting CEO from March 4.
Björn Zoëga, CEO of Karolinska University Hospital. Photo: Rickard Kilström.

Björn Zoëga took over as CEO of Karolinska University Hospital on April 4, 2019.  Under his lead, the hospital's strategic direction has been decentralization, empowering clinical leaders to make key decisions, and simplified and reduced administration. The number of hospital beds has increased, as has the number of surgeries performed at the hospital. Strategic investments in precision medicine and AI, among other things, have been implemented. Education and research have developed strongly at Karolinska University Hospital. In the 2023 employee survey, Karolinska's results improved in all three areas: motivation, governance and leadership. In 2023, Newsweek magazine ranked Karolinska as Europe's best hospital and the sixth best in the world.

"Karolinska has developed in an impressive way in the last few years. With its size and weight, the hospital contributes to the safety of many people in Stockholm and in other parts of Sweden and the world. The research and innovation conducted at Karolinska creates development in the Stockholm Region", says Göran Stiernstedt, chairman of the board.

"With his leadership and together with the hospital's employees, Björn Zoëga has strongly contributed to Karolinska University Hospital being stronger today than it has been for a long time", says Mikael Ohrling, Director of Healthcare at Region Stockholm.

"Despite a protracted pandemic, which was tough for both patients and staff, we were able to implement the strategy that has taken the hospital out of a very difficult situation. Karolinska has gone from a deficit of SEK 1.9 billion and low availability to increasing the number of hospital beds and surgeries. We have gone from being questioned to being ranked as one of the world's top hospitals. It is the hospital's staff who have made this change possible", says Björn Zoëga.

"Inflation and recession have led to healthcare in Sweden once again having a tough time. At Karolinska, we have met the financial challenges through a purchasing freeze and redundancies in administration. This is to be able to continue to focus on helping more patients and gives us the ability to handle cost increases", says Björn Zoëga.

Björn Zoëga will leave on March 4. Patrik Rossi, currently Deputy CEO and Head of Karolinska’s Cancer Theme, is proposed to take up the position of Acting CEO. The process of recruiting a permanent CEO will begin immediately.

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The number of patients treated at Karolinska University Hospital

  • 2020: 288 106
  • 2021: 306 835
  • 2022: 326 174
  • 2023: 334 486

Number of care contacts in inpatient and outpatient care at Karolinska University Hospital

This figure is higher than the number of patients, as each unique patient can give rise to several healthcare contacts.

  • 2020: 1 309 403
  • 2021: 1 418 915
  • 2022: 1 477 821
  • 2023: 1 545 352

Number of surgeries and procedures performed at Karolinska University Hospital

  • 2020: 48 464
  • 2021: 53 622
  • 2022: 57 376
  • 2023: 56 727
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