Umbrella bill on long-term care adopted

Ljubljana – The government has adopted a long-awaited bill on long-term care. A gradual approach is planned and a special mandatory contribution for long-term care, a key component of the system, will be put in place later, by mid-2024 at the latest.

A third of the elderly need assistance and long-term care is becoming increasingly prominent in all economically advanced countries, Health Minister Janez Poklukar said.

“Everyone deserves a decent age and everyone caring for an elderly person deserved decent pay for their work. These are the basis tenets of the law,” he said.

The bill defines long-term care as a special pillar of social security connected with the health, social care and pension systems.

Institutional as well as community-based forms of long-term care will be developed, with special provisions for caregivers who are members of the family.

Long-term services would include help with daily chores, health care services, e-care, and services that preserve the independence of individuals.

The new mandatory contribution, to be finalised at a later date, would finance the provision of universal services accessible to all under equal conditions.

Until this contribution is in place, long-term care will be financed from existing sources and any shortfalls will be financed by the national budget.

Poklukar said all the proposed solutions would improve the transparency of spending and provide effective oversight of service quality and safety.

Various governments have been drafting legislation on long-term care for nearly two decades, but none of the various versions have ever been finalised.

Slovenia has for years been receiving warnings from various international institutions that it must devise a system of long-term care as soon as possible given that the country has one of the most rapidly ageing populations in Europe.