Policy responses for Slovenia - HSRM


Policy responses for Slovenia

3.2 Managing cases

Suspected cases were initially tested in isolation rooms in emergency care and sent home to isolate. However, since the establishment of entry points, which are organised in trailers or tents next to the locations of 16 primary health centres in Slovenia, testing is primarily carried out here. Close contacts of suspected cases are also requested to isolate pending testing. On 26 February it was decided that all cases would be isolated and treated in hospitals. With the mitigation phase starting on 16 March 2020, a triage is made among confirmed cases. Only those who require hospitalisation according to the clinical assessment of their condition will be admitted. Patients with milder progression will remain in isolation at home (unless that is not possible, then admission was mandatory) and are given instructions on when to seek further assistance should the course of the disease become more severe.

The University Clinical Centre of Ljubljana dedicated the entire Clinic of Infectious Diseases to COVID-19 and emptied their entire Clinics of Orthopaedics and Dermatology for patients who do not require intensive care. Additionally, the University Clinical Centre of Maribor secured the entire infectious disease department for COVID-19 and also the General Hospital Celje. The Pulmonary Disease Clinic Golnik dedicated a large part of their capacity to COVID-19, including the ICU beds. Several other general hospitals are on standby if needed and more patients require hospitalisations.
There have not yet been reports of rationing care for COVID-19 patients.

On 17 March the Ministry of Health advised nursing homes that infected residents should not be admitted automatically but according to the same assessment as other infected. Nursing homes were also advised to isolate the infected residents. This has proved to be a problem as not all nursing homes have these possibilities and the five major outbreaks in the country are related to nursing homes and their residents and employees.

From September through the beginning of October, special expert teams nominated by the Minister of Health are to prepare a number of measures to optimize access to health services in Slovenia, with one objective being to utilize services of private providers in dealing with surge capacities in times of pandemics/crisis.