3. Providing health services effectively
The section on PROVIDING HEALTH SERVICES EFFECTIVELY describes approaches for service delivery planning and patient pathways for suspected COVID-19 cases. It also considers efforts by countries to maintain other essential services during periods of excessive demand for health services.
3.1 Planning services
To mitigate shortages, the Ministry of Health declared that:
• All non-essential outpatient medical check-ups and planned surgery were suspended
• Increasing distribution of oxygen supplies
• Continue to distribute the national stockpile of PPE, which was stockpiled for Pandemic Influenza and purchase additional supplies
• Chronic patients were advised to stay in touch with their GPs in case of need (e.g. medication supply) or if their condition worsened (either related to COVID-19 or due to their underlying condition)
• Provision of remote consultations for vulnerable groups who have been advised against attending outpatient hospital appointments
• Testing in Slovenia is available in several locations – the Institute of Microbiology of the Medical Faculty in Ljubljana as well as the National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Food with its locations in Maribor, Ljubljana, Koper, Novo mesto and Kranj, enabling good access and availability for all the 16 entry points. Labs have been stockpiling material since the early stages and could also meet the increasing demand when the rise in the number of new cases occurred.