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The MoH of Slovenia decided to restructure duty and on-call services in health care. There would be a reduction in the salary bonuses for those who perform these services. In some cases the physical presence of doctors would be replaced by stand-by arrangements. One of the controversies of the present system are the differences in payments for comparable posts in comparable specialties, where in some cases these were 30 to 40 per cent higher than in others. The original reform attempt failed.
Slovenia has achieved a significant reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality over the past 25 years. This has been the result of various processes and interventions. However, when comparing Slovenia to the most developed countries in the EU, there still is a gap that needs to be bridged. One of the determinants of that gap is the excess intake of salt in the average Slovenian diet. A public campaign was launched in order to reduce salt intake through clear public health messages.
Slovenia is lagging behind other EU member states in developing a formal basis for HTA development. After eight years of discussions, the MoH now proposed an organisational structure, which would represent the institutionalisation of HTA in Slovenia. Two new bodies would be formed - an HTA council and an HTA network. They would have a supervisory (the council) and a technical role (the network). These two structures would form a service, which would both deliver HTA studies and carry priorities.
Recession has had an impact on the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia (HIIS), who evaluated losses with the compulsory health insurance and found they were increasing much more rapidly than previously estimated. The new estimate reaches 112 million Euros (double of the original estimate) and represents around 5% of the total budget of HIIS. The reasons lie in the reduced number of employees paying insurance, increased sickness absence leave costs and higher pharmaceutical expenditures.
After a long discussion within the medical profession and adjustments made with other national strategies (esp. on nutrition and physical activity) the Health Council finally adopted the National Diabetes Control Strategy and the related Action Plan. This sets ground for a new approach to diabetes management in Slovenia, including specific measures ranging from public health to rehabilitation. Consensus has been reached across the different fields involved on how to address diabetes control.
Patients' Rights Act was an important piece of legislation with which Slovenia finally regulated this important area. After a long public and parliamentary discussion the act was passed and was also well accepted soon after its adoption.The most important achievements are in: defining complaint pathways, introducing a no-fault procedure, influence patient integrity protection in all other legislation. Soon after its adoption a process of adapting all relevant legislation to this new act started.
The cancer professional community and policymakers spent a lot of time developing a comprehensive cancer control plan and it was long overdue. Between June and September 2008 (with a later extension until the end of 2008!) there was an open public debate. Later, during 2009 additional consultations on the Plan took place. The final version is to be adopted by the Health Council by the end of 2009. This would enable enactment of certain programs and activities already in 2010.
The new flu H1N1 caused redefinition of the main health policy and public health policy priorities in many countries. The danger of a pandemic that would strike a relevant share of the population, causing important health consequences and immense economic damages brought preventative measures to the forefront. Following the initial developments and the rise in the number of cases over summer, Slovenia joined preparations for a broad application of vaccine and strengthened pandemic preparedness.
The proposal of the new Health Services Act was finalised and presented for a public debate that took place between 10 June and 10 September 2009. The debate showed that several solutions were not well thought through and provided for a wide range of critical comments. The latter ranged from total refusal by the Medical Chamber to moderate approval within a part of the governing coalition. Comments, corrections and amendments will now be incorporated into a revised proposal for the next phase.
Long-term care is a long-standing problem in Slovenia. Currently, funding is split between the social care sector, pension insurance and compulsory health insurance. Demographic changes caused a sharp increase in persons needing assistance, which represents a burden both for the public sources of funding as well as for the families. In 2006 a draft law on long-term insurance was ready for submission to the government but then withdrawn due to lack of consensus - currently the debate goes on.