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Quality, safety and accessibility of health care

The provision and ongoing improvement of quality and safety of medical treatment are priorities in EU countries. Slovenia observes the internationally adopted principles of quality: effectiveness of medical procedures, patients’ safety, timely health care, efficiency and equality of treatment. Simultaneously, we strive towards a fair and effective health care system and focus on the patient at all times.

The right to high-quality and safe health care is one of the basic patients’ rights. Qualitative health care consistently attains the objectives of medical treatment comparable with standards or best practices. The basis of quality management is systematic improvement of providers’ knowledge, organisation of the medical treatment process, working environment and management. It is reflected in improved treatment success rates, better access to treatment, improved working conditions, and particularly in enhanced safety which is an important element of quality and signifies the lack of any consequences for patients, staff or others due to sentinel events.

Quality and safety management systems are planned harmoniously on all levels of health-care implementation. All participants in health care must closely and continuously cooperate in the establishment and maintenance of quality improvement systems and patient safety. The provision of quality in health care is namely based on interdisciplinary knowledge cooperation, the promotion of team work, and the integration between health-care workers, patients and their problems.

For everyone everywhere

The World Health Organisation defined universal access to health care as an important human right; however, its scope in many countries around the world is limited. Access does not only denote a sufficient number of health-care institutions in close geographical proximity to a patient. It also includes social solidarity with those in need of health services in the sense of the amount of public funds earmarked for health care and the scope of health services covered by these funds. Health care in Slovenia is a general right founded on the principle of solidarity. Everyone contributes to the health fund through compulsory health insurance, and the funds are available to all when they need them. With good organisation of the public health service, i.e. a broad and geographically evenly distributed network of health services, physical access to health care for all is provided.

A significant indicator of accessibility to health services are waiting periods, which we strive to manage by financing the increased scope of health services while observing available sources, and other short-term measures. Long-term systemic measures to establish a stable and accessible health system (legislation) are also planned, including the activities to improve the quality of national data on the patients waiting and waiting periods that the healthcare providers report in the eHealth system.