Businesses oppose health reform proposal


The new system will only fill a leaky bucket, the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) Marjan Mačkošek said.He  pointed out at a press conference in Ljubljana that the goal of a health reform should be to create a quality and accessible healthcare system, but the proposed changes failed to bring any comprehensive solutions.

Under the proposal, the state would get over EUR 100m more from citizens in the next five years but there is no guarantee that health services would become more accessible or that funds would be spent more rationally.

Branko Meh, the president of the Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS), was bothered by the fact the proposed bill on health security and health insurance envisages the raising of obligatory employer's contribution for injuries at work and job-related diseases if the Health Insurance Institute's (ZZZS) expenditure exceed revenue in this field.

The ZZZS gets some EUR 80m a year for this purpose but the money is not necessarily spent exclusively for these purposes, he argued.

The bill on health security and health insurance is not supported by calculations on its effects on the economy and individuals, said Mariča Lah of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce (TZS).

The government pledged to lift the burden off the economy but now it wants to raise contributions and introduce a new obligatory health levy, which Lah believes will annul any positive effects of the mini tax reform that stepped into force in January 2017.

She therefore expects the government to cut employers costs for sick leave and proposes that employers cover for the first 20 instead of the current 30 days of sick leave.

Employers' Association head Marjan Trobiš also warned against raising health insurance contributions. The Health Ministry did not take into account any other possible expenditure of the health budget or decreases in revenue resulting from lower economic activity, he said.

According to him, Finance Minister Mateja Vraničar Erman has practically admitted that the proposed reform would inevitably lead to a higher contribution rate, which would be unacceptable for both employers and taxpayers.

Executive director of AmCham Slovenia Ajša Vodnik is concerned by what she sees as monopolization of the obligatory health insurance. Having a single health insurer will not make the services more accessible or the system more transparent, she stressed.

Drago Delalut of the OZS meanwhile finds it unacceptable that the proposed composition of the ZZZS council envisages two government representatives. He thinks employers as the biggest contributors should be better represented.

Sonja Šmuc of the Manager Association would give more managerial powers to the heads of public health institutions and introduce the basic principles of corporate management in community health centres and hospitals.