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We will prepare healthcare for all challenges that lie ahead

Minister of Health Danijel Bešič Loredan presented the document “Overview of the situation in Slovenian healthcare”.
Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan

Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan | Author STA/Daniel Novakovič

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At the presentation of the document, the minister said that the Slovenian healthcare system was experiencing problems with financing, the inefficient management of public health institutions, absenteeism, a shortage of physicians, the number of people experiencing unacceptable waiting times, and above all, the uncontrolled flow of money that does not follow the patient.

The document shows that the financing of Slovenian healthcare has been increasing over the last few years, the ageing of the population is leading to an imbalance between the active and inactive population and is resulting in ever-increasing costs of treatment and a decrease in the number of people paying into the fund, while as the population ages the number of medical teams needed at the primary level is increasing. Compared to the EU average, Slovenia not only has a lower number of physicians per 100,000 inhabitants, but in 2017 the gap between the number of graduates and available specialisation posts also began to increase. From 2010 to 2022, the number of people without a personal physician varied between 106,600 and 131,940, while the number of patients experiencing unacceptable waiting times tripled from the beginning of 2018, reaching 112,121 at the end of 2022. In addition, more than 65% of all emergency centre visits are non-urgent or less urgent.

According to the minister, all this calls for a reform. In the preparation of the latter, Estonian digital tools and the model of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund will be used. “The goal is to rationalise and manage the healthcare system along the lines of the Finnish healthcare regions, while taking into account Slovenia’s specifics,” the minister pointed out, adding that when it came to reform changes, the broadest consensus would be sought.

According to the minister, the key steps in the changes will be the digitalisation of the healthcare system, the reform of the salary system for public employees, regulation of family and emergency medicine, the structural reform of the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia, the reform of the supervision and management of public healthcare institutions, regulation of absenteeism, addressing concession holders and the issues involving concessions, staffing issues in healthcare and a comprehensive overhaul of healthcare system financing.

Furthermore, the goals of the healthcare reform will be to enable all residents of Slovenia to have equal access to the same quality of healthcare services, regardless of their socio-economic status, region, nationality, gender, education, political views, religious belief, to build an efficient, digitalised and sustainable healthcare system and to prepare it for future key challenges, such as an ageing population, the development of diseases and treatments, and the threat of emergence of new diseases.