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Government sent National Assembly reply to interpellation

On Friday, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia sent the National Assembly a reply to the interpellation on its work and the accountability of its work, in which it completely dismissed as unfounded all of the SDS party’s accusations regarding the alleged inadequacy of its conduct.

At government level, the coalition’s work and cooperation are guided by its founding commitments to respect, freedom and accountability. In agreement with their coalition partners, they are respectful in their decision-making, tolerant and open to the views of others, and they value a diversity of perspectives and experiences. In their work, coalition partners ensure the conditions necessary for achieving fundamental human rights and freedoms, free from coercion and fear, while ensuring that everyone is held accountable. They are committed to a respect for human rights, the environment and the rule of law. Freedom is both a fundamental part of the way they work and a goal of social, economic and sustainable development. Coalition partners take responsibility for the effective functioning of the coalition and for their actions.

In its reply to the interpellation, the Government explained that a number of measures had been taken in several areas to tackle rising costs. The Government started by addressing the needs of individual households and small businesses. It has adopted targeted measures for medium-sized and large enterprises, for farmers and agricultural businesses, and for fishermen. Thus, the Government has taken measures to ease energy prices (electricity, natural gas, oil and petroleum products), alleviate food costs throughout the supply chain (support for farmers, tackling rising food prices), and to protect vulnerable groups and families. The common thread running through all the measures taken is the creation of a predictable and stable environment for the consumer, the economy and the country.

In terms of finance, the 2023 and 2024 budget amendments were adopted in 2022 to provide financial resources to help the economy and individuals in the context of a difficult post-COVID economic environment and the onset of the energy crisis. The measures are temporary, effective and targeted.

In the area of migration policy, a working group of the Ministry of the Interior will prepare a migration strategy, which will set out objectives, policies and actions to be taken to manage migration effectively and comprehensively. Through a series of meetings, a constructive dialogue with NGOs has also been established and the foundations have been laid for the systematic participation of civil society in changes to home affairs legislation, which was one of this coalition’s key promises.

In the area of health, new solutions have also been introduced in the last ten months with the adoption of the Act Determining the Measures to Ensure the Stable Functioning of the Health System, which, among other things, provides for the introduction of an increased workload allowance for certain types of workloads and an allowance for special working conditions in municipalities with lower levels of development; the ability of general practitioners to delegate certain powers to specific health professionals and colleagues (for example, the authority to issue documents to claim travel expenses); additional reinforcement of teams in primary care clinics (additional healthcare recruitment allowance); changes to the structure of the public health boards at secondary level and increased competences and responsibilities for the members of the boards; payment after all health services in the public network, regardless of the volume agreed with the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia (ZZZS), have been provided.

Outpatient clinics have been set up for people without a general practitioner. There are currently 22 such clinics operating across seven Slovenian regions.

Legislation is being drafted to tackle problems in family and emergency medicine. Family medicine teams will be redefined, a regional network will be set up, and the operation of emergency centres will be standardised.

In order to achieve the objectives and commitments set out in the coalition agreement, proposals for the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia Act and the Health Information System Act (Zakon o zdravstvenem informacijskem sistemu) will shortly be submitted for public consultation.

A draft Act Amending the Mental Health Act to correct anomalies arising from constitutional rulings is being coordinated between ministries. Also, the public debate on the amendment to the Restriction on the Use of Tobacco Products and Related Products Act has ended. An analysis has been prepared and made public, including an overview of the health situation in Slovenia.

In March 2023, a call centre to support users of the healthcare system was set up with the toll-free number 0 801 801, which provides general assistance and support for administrative and organisational queries, assistance in finding and registering with a GP, information about outpatient clinics for those without a general practitioner, direct connection to the eHealth call centre, as well as connection to the ZZZS regional units.

In response to SDS’s accusation that the Government had abolished the Museum of Slovenian Independence, the Government says that it is in fact a merger between two museums, namely the Museum of Slovenian Independence and the Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia. In this context, the current administration notes that the previous government, the 14th, hastily decided to set up an Independence Museum, without any kind of public debate and any form of peer review, ignoring warnings from the professional community, without long-term planning, and investment documentation. The museum was set up without a collection and suitable premises and was doomed to failure both because of the way it was set up and because of the conditions.

The Government explains that the abolition of the Office for Demography has had no negative consequences for the field of demographics. The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities carries out essential demographic policies in this area. This mandate has already seen a number of measures and activities implemented that have and will contribute to a healthier demographic landscape.

The Government recognises that its work has been successful and that it is achieving its ambitious objectives. The accusations made by the authors of the interpellation are completely unfounded and, for the most part, entirely inappropriate. The prime minister and his ministers, in accordance with their oaths of office, respect the constitutional order, act according to their consciences and work tirelessly for the good of Slovenia.