Fresh Slovenian vegetable. Photo: Primož Lavre

Health Care System

The Health Care and Health Insurance Act, adopted in 1992 and later also amended, includes a number of measures aimed at improving general public health, promoting preventive medicine, the early discovery of diseases and their prompt treatment, the care and rehabilitation of the sick and injured, and regulating the rights relating to compulsory and voluntary health insurance, which ensures social security in case of illness, injury, childbirth or death.

The Act stipulates that the state has to prevent and address social problems of individuals, families and population groups. Social security rights are protected through measures and services for preventing and mitigating of social hardship, and providing contributions for individuals who do not have sufficient means due to circumstances beyond their influence. The compulsory health insurance scheme covers the whole population, either on the basis of employment and selfemployment or residence (insured persons and their family members).

The right to health care services comprises services at the primary health care level, including dentistry, health care services in certain types of social care institutions, specialist outpatient services, hospital and tertiary level services. It also includes the right to health resort treatment, rehabilitation treatment, transport by ambulance and other vehicles, medicine, and technical aids.

Under the compulsory health insurance scheme, the insured persons are also entitled to different financial benefits (compensation of salary during temporary absence from work, reimbursement of travel costs etc.). In 2007, the share of GDP spent on health was 5.9%.

Health awareness in Slovenia is relatively high. Many people have given up smoking, lowering the percentage of smokers to less than 30. Sadly, many young people still continue to practice this unhealthy habit. Since August 2007 smoking in all indoor public and working places has been prohibited in Slovenia.

Developing private health care

In addition to the public network of health institutions in Slovenia, private health care is also developing. Its share of the total health care services is around 10%. But the majority of the private health sector remains incorporated into public health insurance schemes.

Private health care is not permitted in some areas, such as blood supply, organ transplantation and pathology, whilst in other areas (for example, pharmacy, hospital health care, etc.) a concession is needed in order to be able to practise privately.