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Monday, August 15, 2022

A group of independent doctors disappointed with the government’s decision: Corruption will continue to be supported at the expense of patient exhaustion!

By Tanja Brkić (Nova24tv.si)

A group of independent doctors who strive for public health care for the benefit of the patient (Beltram Matej, Kalan Gorazd, Kališnik Matija, Noč Marko, Podnar Simon, Vesel Samo, Vranič Andrej, and Zevnik Krištof) wrote on their portal zdravstvo.si for the public that they are disappointed by the new government’s decision to cancel the amendment to the Public Procurement Act (ZJN-3C), but SDS party warns them that their appeal is unfortunately too late.

If there is a legal inconsistency, we would expect the government to amend and supplement the amendment, but not to abolish it, they wrote in zdravstvo.si, who are disappointed by the new government’s decision to cancel the amendment to the law on public procurement. The group believes that with this the government has taken a step in the wrong direction, namely in the direction of corruption and the collusive economy of suppliers in Slovenian state healthcare. According to them, the price of the vascular brace will still remain two to three times more expensive than in Scandinavia.

In their response to the intervention law in health care and the repeal of the amendment to the law on public procurement in health care (ZJN-3C), they initially warned that Slovenian citizens and patients have been overpaying for medical devices and medicines for more than 30 years. In order to prevent overpayment, on January 13th, 2021, the members of the National Assembly adopted an amendment to the Public Procurement Act (ZJN-3C), which was designed based on the content and ideas of the aforementioned group of doctors. They believed that a turning point had been reached with the amendment, as this law, after decades of overpayment, was the first step towards bringing the prices of medical devices and materials closer to the prices in the developed countries of the European Union. This has now been cancelled by the new government.

The government has taken a step in the wrong direction

“In the zdravstvo.si group, we are disappointed by the new government’s decision to cancel the amendment to the law on public procurement. We believe that the government has taken a step in the wrong direction – in the direction of corruption and the collusive economy of suppliers in Slovenian state healthcare. If there is a legal inconsistency, we would expect from the government an appropriate correction and addition of the amendment, but by no means its abolition (ZUZSDZS),” the group of doctors zdravstvo.si is clear.

A group of independent doctors has therefore called on the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Ministry of Health not to cancel the amendment to the law on public procurement, but to amend it accordingly and formulate it legally, so that Slovenia will finally enter the path of transparent ordering and normal European prices for medical materials and accessories. “We inform the citizens, our followers and all patients that we will continue to defend the freedom of the patient and the doctor and point out the anomalies of the state healthcare system in Slovenia.”

The purpose of the Office of Supervision, Quality, and Investments of the Republic of Slovenia is to maintain the status quo

They also added that they doubt that the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Control, Quality, and Investments in Health Care, which was established as part of the Ministry of Health, will contribute to the actual reduction of costs in health care. “Its purpose seems rather to maintain the status quo in the area of prices of medical materials and accessories through the monopoly of domestic distributors. Thus, the same vascular stent from the same manufacturer will continue to cost 50-100 euros in Germany and Scandinavia, and 200-350 euros here, and the price of an aortic valve for percutaneous insertion will continue to be 15,000-20,000 euros instead of 10,000-11,000 euros.”

The leader of the SDS parliamentary group, Jelka Godec, also reacted to everything, who believes that the doctors wrote the appeal to the government too late, because “the intervention law was passed, and with it the Office for the central record of prices in healthcare and reference prices for medical materials”, she wrote and added that “it will probably be better now, when the super supervisor Aleš Šabeder takes over”.

The group emphasised that in the field of procurement and (over)payments of medical materials, medicines, and devices, they advocate the introduction of reference prices for individual materials compared to other EU countries, the introduction of electronic auctions and group ordering, consistent protection of European suppliers and sanctioning of domestic and foreign providers in the event of rigging tenders.

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