Long-term care bill passes second reading

Ljubljana – The long-awaited bill on long-term care, which brings a number of measures for persons dependent on other people’s assistance and need help with basic activities, passed second reading in parliament on Wednesday after it was heavily amended by the coalition.

The bill offers institutional care, home care, care for a family member and financial compensation. All beneficiaries but those receiving institutional care would also be eligible for services aimed at strengthening and keeping their independence.

It does not immediately solve the issue of financing, which will be dealt with in a separate act to be passed in 2024. Until then, the gradually rising costs of the new regulation are to be covered by the state budget.

The Health Ministry estimates that the implementation of the long-term care bill would require EUR 5.5 million this year, EUR 205 million in 2022 and almost EUR 744 million in 2025.

While the core of the legislation remains unchanged, several amendments were adopted today dealing with specific solutions, such as the precise scope of benefits, price-setting, and the role of caregivers.

While there is broad-based support for the regulation of long-term care, the opposition and many civil society organisations have voiced misgivings about the absence of firm financing.

The third and final reading of the bill will be completed at a subsequent plenary session.