The Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia Peter Svetina is concerned about the alarming state of the lack of family doctors. “I am shocked by the events revolving around the selection of family doctors, especially the latest events at the Community Health Centre Ljubljana. I was overwhelmed by the long line of people standing in front of the Bežigrad unit of the Community Health Centre Ljubljana when I arrived at work this morning. I find it hard to understand that in the age of digitalisation, when the majority of services can be performed on-line, long queues of people can be formed in the middle of the night in front of a healthcare centre, all of whom need to select a family physician,” stresses the Ombudsman.
The right to healthcare is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia. It is not an above standard, but rather the most basic right derived from the mandatory health insurance. The state is responsible for the efficient execution of healthcare services, and must put in place an appropriately functioning network of healthcare services on the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. Using appropriate measures it also has to ensure that all people receive the necessary preventive and curative healthcare measures at the time they need them,” believes the Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina. He accentuates that access to physicians and quality treatment are the key elements of healthcare, hence he has acted in accordance with his competences and called upon the Municipality of Ljubljana and the management of the Community Health Centre Ljubljana to provide explanations and swift action. He also expects that those responsible on the state level stop shifting blame from one to another and start collaborating fruitfully for the benefit of patients. The current state is, in Ombudsman Svetina’s belief, another example of grave and systematic violation of citizens’ rights.