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Prime Minister Janez Janša: A high vaccination coverage, which is successfully stopping the epidemic, will be achieved sometime in mid-June

Prime Minister Janez Janša visited the Slovenj Gradec General Hospital today, where he inspected the renovated Covid-19 department areas, which he also formally opened. He also inspected the department for diagnostics and intervention radiology, where the functioning of the angiography imaging device was presented.

Following the inspection in the hospital and after meeting the hospital director, Janez Lavre, he gave a statement for the press, in which Prime Minister Janez Janša initially thanked the management and all the employees for their exceptional efforts in the last year, and even more during the epidemic. “This was not only a challenge because of the covid patients, but also because of the immense pressure on the already burdened Slovenian health system,” said the prime minister, and added that the healthcare system managed to overcome this challenge ethically.

“The Slovenj Gradec General Hospital is one of those healthcare institutions in Slovenia that is proving, not only through their successes in the profession and in healthcare, that the hospital can also achieve good financial results, which is also important,” said the prime minister. He also commended the plans of the hospital management for the future, when patients who find themselves in medical care will receive everything that the profession, technology and science have to offer in that given moment.

“I am happy that the Ministry of Health has managed to coordinate the law on investments in healthcare and in long-term care in these last days and weeks. It is a very important law that will ensure the required assets for all investments in healthcare and long-term care that we have missed in the last 15-20 years,” continued the prime minister. He added that the law will also be an upgrade to the healthcare programmes that have been included in the national recovery and resilience plan. “With both projects or acts, we will provide Slovenian healthcare with the missing capacities in the next few years, which we have been missing until now,” said the prime minister. He also stressed that the staffing problem will be dealt with in the future as well, so that some of those assets will be allocated to training, education and upskilling of additional staff. “We are expecting Slovenia to catch up with other European countries with top quality healthcare systems within three to five years,” said Prime Minister Janez Janša.

He then noted that the coronavirus epidemic is not over yet. “Slovenia has managed to vaccinate about a quarter of its inhabitants with the first dose of the efficient vaccine against Covid-19. Based on the supply announcements, which are relatively optimistic for the next few weeks, we can realistically achieve a high vaccination coverage, which is successfully stopping the epidemic, sometime in mid-June,” said the prime minister. He noted that the measures proposed by NIJZ need to be complied with consistently until then. “This light at the end of the tunnel must not bring us to a situation in which this is no longer important,” noted Prime Minister Janez Janša.

“Based on the experience from the rare countries which have already achieved a high vaccination coverage and ended the epidemic and the measures that restricted public life, we know that future waves may also break out when the vaccination coverage percentage is high, but not sufficient enough, especially in a situation where new variants of the virus are being introduced,” said the prime minister. He therefore made an appeal to everyone to “comply with the key preventive measures of NIJZ until 15 June, and to listen to appeals of healthcare workers who are witnessing the tragic consequences of the epidemic and the Covid-19 disease on a daily basis, and not to think that everything is already over, because it is not. But it will be.”

“If we all do the things that are within our power, then this year’s summer will be similar to last year’s, with a relatively small number of restrictions, and a period that is more relaxed and optimistic, when we will be able to focus on the necessary steps which we need, and realistically can take, in order to upgrade our healthcare system to prepare it for possible similar challenges,” said the prime minister. He added that the fight against and resilience to epidemics is also one of the priorities of Slovenia in the presidency of the EU Council beginning on 1 July. “We all know that much needs to be done in our healthcare system, which is why we need to focus on that as well,” concluded the prime minister.