Health officials with high expectations of minister candidate Bešič Loredan

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Ljubljana – The health sector has many expectations of Danijel Bešič Loredan, who was revealed as candidate for the next health minister on Wednesday. Health officials expect regulation of the pay system for doctors, the adoption of standards and norms, and the establishment of social dialogue for nurses.

Following the reveal of ministerial candidates by Robert Golob, the likeliest new prime minister, the FIDES trade union of doctors and dentists said its demands followed the expectations of patients for an efficient, quality and accessible public healthcare system.

They also remain unchanged regardless of who is in the government, the union told the STA, adding that “ministers are judged by facts and not by names”.

The union stressed the need for an immediate pay reform that would bring the pay of health employees closer to those in Western European countries. It also pointed to the poorer accessibility of healthcare services and called for measures to ensure a sufficient number of doctors at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

The Medical Chamber too wants a healthcare system that could, based on the principle of solidarity, provide every citizen with the timely, accessible, safe and quality healthcare services they need.

It advocates the preparation and implementation of a national healthcare human resources plan and the introduction of incentives to work in healthcare areas that are less attractive for employment, both geographically and professionally.

The chamber reiterated doctors’ demand to be excluded from the public sector pay system. It also believes doctors should be able to choose whether they want to work as civil servants or as private practitioners.

Monika Ažman, head of the Chamber of Nursing and Midwifery, told the STA that the chamber expected the new government and health minister to adopt human resources standards and norms based on the needs of patients. It also expects nursing and midwifery to be involved in all levels of planning and decision-making on healthcare development, and not just in efforts to implement measures.

In addition, the chamber expects a strategy on the development of nursing and midwifery until 2030. Moreover, it is also necessary to adopt a law on nursing and midwifery that would regulate these two fields in a systemic manner, she added.

The Health and Social Care Trade Union expects the new minister and the entire incoming government to establish a normal social dialogue and to immediately resume negotiations to eliminate disparities between individual jobs and occupational groups, the union’s head, Irena Ilešič Čujovič, told the STA.

The union also expects the adoption of relevant standards and norms as well as the revaluation of pay grades so that the lowest pay grade would match the minimum wage.

The leaders of the incoming coalition parties, Robert Golob, Tanja Fajon and Luka Mesec, unveiled the list of ministerial candidates at a press conference late in the afternoon. Orthopaedist Bešič Loredan had been tipped as the likeliest health minister candidate, a pick they confirmed.

In addition to Fajon and Mesec he is also a candidate for deputy prime minister of the new coalition.

Bešič Loredan told the STA today he had already assembled most of his ministerial team that would include health, economics and legal experts. He is determined to come up with a clear and consistent strategy to tackle the coronavirus epidemic come autumn. Other areas of focus will be efforts to cut waiting times and introduce systemic measures.