4. Paying for services
Adequate funding for health is important to manage the excess demands on the health system. This section considers how countries are PAYING FOR COVID-19 SERVICES. Health financing describes how much is spent on health and the distribution of health spending across different service areas. The section also describes who is covered for COVID-19 testing and treatment, whether there are any notable gaps (in population coverage and service coverage), and how much people pay (if at all) for those services out-of-pocket.
4.1 Health financing
Update 15 February:
PKP8 introduces important new measures, among others reimbursement of costs, related to treatment with oxygen in patients with COVID-19 in social care and educational institutions, which carry out health services.
Additionally, one of the measures secures the funding for the provision of extended care and treatment, needed for time of recovery.
Update 30 December
As part of the anti-corona law 7 (#PKP7), the financial means for the mass testing for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 will be secured from the budget of the Republic of Slovenia and/or funds from the budget of the EU.
There have not been any significant changes to the financing of health services by the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia so far, although they have warned for the lower revenue from contributions given the slowdown in economic activity and a decision of the Government to allow postponement of social contributions during the course of the epidemic (currently until 31 May).
Furthermore, all PPEs and ventilators purchased in this period and any additional necessary equipment is purchased and distributed directly by the Government as this is provided for in the Pandemic Plan.
Special bonuses are envisaged from the budget for those health professionals who work in especially high-risk environments and are actively involved in the management of the epidemic and the care of patients. The Act provides bonuses up to 100% of the basic salary based on the actual time spent on high-risk activities and services in the delivery of care.
Slovenia typically prepares its forthcoming annual budget in August each year and the extra costs related to preventing and treating the effects COVID-19 in the country in 2020 resulted in a necessary restructuring of expenditures as well as using additional rescue funds. In this budgeting round, an additional EUR 150 million was earmarked as direct assistance to hospital that experienced a service fallout in planned income from services provided during spring and summer months. The Minister of Health previously stated that the additional funding would need to be EUR 250 million, and the government is planning to mobilize additional funding to get closer to this figure.