The Slovenia Times

Referendum on New Health Act?

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The initiators believe the act will lead to centralisation, monopoly and loss of competitiveness of regional health institutes, deterioration of health care on the local and regional level, loss of around a quarter of jobs, and a collapse of the current system, Harlander said at a press conference.

He illustrated this with the case of the Novo mesto institute, which he said made around EUR 3.5m of its EUR 5m a year on the market, while all its employees should become a burden for the state under the new law, according to Harlander.

Referendum procedures started on 28 November, when a request with the necessary signatures was submitted, and the initiators have until 6 February to collect 40,000 signatures to call the referendum.

Passed in parliament on 21 November, the law merges the Public Health Institute (IVZ) with nine local institutes for public health operating in Celje, Koper, Kranj, Ljubljana, Maribor, Murska Sobota, Nova Gorica, Novo mesto and Ravne na KoroŇ°kem into two new health institutions.

One will be the National Institute for Public Health, which will deal with public health care and be financed from the state budget and other sources, and the other will be the National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Food, which will take over the tasks of the laboratories currently operated by the IVZ and the local institutes for public heath.

The government hopes to save EUR 1.5m annually with the reorganisation.
 

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