Patient organisations form union to promote their rights

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Ljubljana – More than 20 patient associations have joined forces to establish the Union of Patient Associations of Slovenia choosing Štefanija Lukič Zlobec as the chair. The purpose of the union is to promote the voice of patients, Lukič Zlobec told the press on Tuesday.

“Our aim is to engage in dialogue and work with all stakeholders to improve the situation,” said the head of Spominčica, an association helping out with dementia.

Individual associations working for the benefit of patients are fragmented, have no money, no premises to work in, and no real interlocutor to turn to with proposals.

Lukič Zlobec believes that it will be much easier for them to carry out their tasks and achieve their goals within the framework of the new union.

The union will advocate better-quality services and better access to services, more safety for patients, and a new system of quality management of health services and safety.

The union, established on Tuesday, believes waiting times should be cut and equality of patients raised, with patients to be empowered about their rights and duties.

The union will advocate introduction of strict liability for damages to patients and adoption of legislation conducive to the activities of patients.

It intends to urge the Health Ministry to draft a bill promoting the action, empowerment and involvement of patients and their organisations in the field of health.

The union would like the bill to set down its funding from the national budget and the budgets of health insurance companies.

The Union of Patient Associations intends to join the European Patients’ Forum (EPF).