The Slovenia Times

Ministry to focus on improving health institution management


"Unsuitable tools for managing hospitals are a key problem for directors," said Fakin and added that the planned bill will eliminate councils at health institutions and replace them with management and supervisory boards.

This will allow them to enhance the accountability of board members, who "will be held accountable personally and with their assets, just like in companies".

If successful, the management will be eligible for a "suitable reward comparable to those in companies of similar size", Fakin added.

He believes that this is one of the key foundations for efficiently managing the public health system, instead of the ministry having to approve "promotions for any hospital worker or their overtime".

Hospitals and other institutions will be regularly and more closely monitored, as will be the restructuring of troubled hospitals that were bailed out in late 2017 and early 2018.

"We must stop the uncontrolled leaking of funds and make do with the funds that are available with the public health fund manager ZZZS," the minister said.

Turning to another burning issue in healthcare, Fakin said that around EUR 35m will be made available for shortening waiting times next year, which is on a par with this and last year.

"Raising productivity and restructuring some programmes with surplus" will also be in to focus next year, with the minister expecting waiting times in certain programmes such as MRI and CT scans to be significantly shorter.

The ministry will also determine the number of daily initial examinations for specialist clinics. "This will shift the priority for all check-ups to initial examinations. Determining the number at specialist clinics will certainly be a major challenge," the minister added.

State Secretary Pia Vračko meanwhile said that a strategy for the development of the entire primary care system will be ready soon, "including the overhaul of the pay model that will reward bigger workload and work in remote places". She said that primary care had been enhanced with 52 GPs and ten paediatricians this year.

In the future, more money will be earmarked for general practice, paediatrics, gynaecology and obstetrics to ensure a suitable primary care network.

The minister meanwhile also plans to take on several challenges that have been left over by the previous minister, including the overhaul of the healthcare and health insurance act, which is considered a key part of healthcare reform.

The draft prepared by the previous team at the ministry will be put up for review by experts and the minister hopes that the ministry will get enough actionable data in the first half of the year to put together a new draft bill.

Fakin also said that draft changes to the patients' rights act will be ready within three months. Moreover, rules on occupational diseases are ready, but the ministry will hold another round of talks with employers to discuss some of their grievances.

"The understanding that we need the rules has prevailed," the minister said and added that only some details remained to be hammered out.

Another challenge the ministry will take on next year is long-term care, as "political consensus is building that this field will remain under the purview of the health ministry", according to Fakin. "There has not been a final decision, but three pilot projects are already under way," he added.


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