Staff in focus as health minister meets stakeholders

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Ljubljana – Staffing problems in healthcare were in the focus as Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan held separate talks on Wednesday with representatives of nurses and primary care doctors to brief them on government plans in advance of the adoption of an emergency law that is expected to address the most acute problems.

Rok Ravnikar, a general practitioner who heads the primary care section at the Medical Chamber, said the meeting was “positive” in that the ministry expressed the commitment to do everything in their power to help the sector.

Monika Ažman, the president of the Chamber of Healthcare Midwifery, said she was “optimistic and satisfied”.

The government plans to adopt an emergency bill shortly, given that reforming healthcare has been singled out as one of its top priorities.

The details are still under wraps but Bešič Loredan said one of the aims would be to identify understaffed professions so that staff can be properly financially rewarded and convinced to remain in the public sector.

According to Ažman, it is essential to determine how to keep the ageing healthcare staff from leaving, and how to motivate youths to opt for care professions.

Bešič Loredan said the ministry did not have precise data about the staff numbers in care professions, merely estimates. They want to get hard figures first before they opt for specific solutions.

The next meeting will be held in about two weeks and would feature the representatives of ZZZS, the public health insurer. The plan is to form a kind of three-way agreement identifying the most problematic points in primary care.