ZZZS notes problems in implementation of long-term care act

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Ljubljana – The public health insurance fund has warned about difficulties in the implementation of the long-term care act, which it sees as “internally inconsistent” and thus largely unimplementable at the beginning of 2023, as envisaged. Not all basic conditions for its implementation have been secured by the state, either.

The statement comes as the management board of the Health Insurance Institute (ZZZS) was acquainted on Thursday with the latest report on the implementation of the act, which entered into force more than four months ago.

ZZZS management board Irena Ilešič Čujovič told the press that a contract with the ministries in charge of health and social affairs on the drawing of funds for the implementation of long-term care had yet to be signed.

The staffing plan for only half of the staff which the ZZZS needs to implement the new form of insurance was adopted only last week, despite the health insurance fund proposing additional hiring to the Health Ministry at the beginning of the year.

ZZZS director general Tatjana Mlakar noted that the fund had been implementing the project since 1 January with its own staff, outside regular working hours and with a highly increased workload.

Mlakar said that only six of the planned nine implementing regulations had been adopted so far, with the key rules on long-term care services being among those that are yet to be adopted.

“The ZZZZ has arrived to a point where it cannot continue its activities without the missing implementing regulations,” she said, adding that the fund could not guarantee that the current timeline would be honoured, as it was unrealistic.

“Certain project assignments must be suspended until other stakeholders do their job,” Mlakar said, adding that the long-term care law also needed to be amended to coordinate transitional provisions in terms of content and time.

The ZZZS called for the necessary changes to be made by October, otherwise the timeline needs to be moved forward, as the deadlines are simply too short. Germany had five years to implement such an act, and Slovenia has only one, Mlakar said.

If the act is not appropriately changed, it will not achieve its purpose and there will be legal consequences, as the “unhappy beneficiaries will very likely launch a large number of complaints and court proceedings.”