The Slovenia Times

Minister: Social partners inclined to reforming healthcare act


Šabeder said that members of the country's main industrial relations forum had been acquainted both with the proposal from the opposition Left and the amended proposal drafted by the senior coalition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ).

According to him, in addition to partial solutions, i.e. abolition of top-up health insurance, also in play is the possibility of comprehensive reform of the healthcare and health insurance act, to which the ministry was also inclined.

"During the debate, one could conclude that both sides - trade unions and employers - are inclined to a comprehensive discussion and overhaul," Šabeder said, adding that changes could be presented to the public in March 2020.

This means that more issues would be opened, "not only the issue of top-up health insurance, but also the rules on occupational diseases and the basket of rights from the mandatory health insurance."

According to the minister, also to be discussed is the structure of the assembly of the Health Insurance Institute (ZZZS).

Šabeder said that social partners had agreed today that in the case that both the Left's and LMŠ's proposals failed to pass the parliamentary procedure, the ministry should continue with a comprehensive reform of the act.

The ministry would present starting points to the ESS, which would establish a negotiating group to broach the open issues. In any case, changes would enter into force on 1 January 2021, Šabeder added.

It was the filing of the amendments to the Left's proposal and making the coalition's support for it conditional on the adoption of the amendments that prompted the opposition party to end its cooperation with the government.

The Left would like to abolish the insurance collected by private insurance companies and needed for virtually all health services by folding it into mandatory health contributions, at different rates, depending on the individual's income.

The coalition on the other hand proposes lump sum payments for the time being, which would be set at EUR 29 a month at first, and could be adjusted once a year. It would be paid by those who currently pay for mandatory health insurance.

Meanwhile, the remaining representatives of social partners failed to fully confirm Minister Šabeder's summary of the meeting, in particular Branimir Štrukelj of the KSJS confederation of public sector trade unions, who made a point of criticising the reform proposal put forward by the LMŠ.

Štrukelj spoke of "quite a negative surprise", saying the minister's presentation lacked concrete figures, while it also became clear that "the government gave up fully on the principle of equity and solidarity".

"The minister admitted that the measure was non-systemic and very complicated. I wonder why in fact they didn't instead back the proposal that is much more thoroughly thought-out and enforces the equity principle," he said, referring to the Left's proposal.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (GZS) Tatjana Čerin was on the other hand critical of the partial nature of interventions in healthcare and insurance, saying the changes would also need to encompass the healthcare network, the basket of basic rights and sickness benefits.

Lidija Jerkič of the ZSSS trade union confederation said that she very much wanted to see changes in healthcare, but that "the whole political situation presently indicates that another government term will pass without concrete changes".


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