Injustices galore in healthcare but no sanctions, says Dnevnik

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Ljubljana – The newspaper Dnevnik says on Thursday that the authorities are doing nothing to clarify what is acceptable when it comes to waiting times in healthcare and patient advocacy, so patients have no one to sanction injustices such as queue-jumping.

An infamous hospital queue-jumping court case has wrapped up without any convictions and a number of other probes into such practices of pushing some patients to the front of the line ended with no sanctions even though competent institutions determined there were malpractices.

The UKC Ljubljana and Valdoltra hospitals faced fines of several thousand euros, but nothing materialised. The message was clear – patients may be pushed back or forward as long as this is recorded. Such practices have never been considered a real scandal, because they have “always been embedded in the Slovenian public health system”.

During the pandemic the situation has become even worse as monitoring has been curtailed and another form of queue-jumping emerged: preferential treatment in giving Covid jabs.

“There has been no intention on the part of the authorities to clarify the boundary between acceptable and controversial patient advocacy. There are still no systematic checks on how many people are actually waiting and what is happening to them. Patients cannot rely on anyone to detect potential injustices,” says Dnevnik.

And sanctions for queue-jumping in healthcare only seem even less likely today, it adds under the headline Skipping the Line for Health.