Minister candidate says doctors will be able to work on the side

Ljubljana – After the announcement in the draft coalition agreement that doctors in the public sector will be banned from working for private providers was met with pushback from doctors’ organisations, Danijel Bešič Loredan, the candidate for the health minister, said on Wednesday that such work would not be prohibited for now.

In a statement for the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija, Bešič Loredan said that “we would never venture prohibiting someone from working.”

He also told the commercial broadcaster POP TV that there would be no non-compete clause in the healthcare system, something that is envisaged in the coalition agreement.

According to Bešič Loredan, the ban on “afternoon work of doctors” and prohibition on competition are part of a different, more distant part of the coalition agreement.

He explained that this measures were planned for 2024, when the healthcare system will be different, similar to systems in western countries, and that it will be defined in consensus with all stakeholders.

POP TV reported that standards and norms for healthcare professionals used to objectively measure their performance, which would be the basis for higher pay and which have not been adopted yet, will be put in place in the planned new system.

“Our idea is to arrive at a point where doctors in all public hospitals can work in the mornings and afternoons for proper pay,” Bešič Loredan told RTV Slovenija.

His statements come after the Medical Chamber and Young Doctors said that the announced blanket ban was not a solution to the problems in the healthcare system and could even encourage more doctors to leave the public health system.

They said that this would put doctors at a great disadvantage compared to other public employees, which was upheld by jurist Nataša Pirc Musar, who noted that doctors must obtain permission from employer before starting working with another employer.