|Abstract:||of public budget restrictions following the financial crisis that has affected Europe in 2008, (public) healthcare systems in numerous countries around the globe are facing considerable financial uncertainties, which has a significant impact on the achieved level of availability, scope, and quality of healthcare services (Council Conclusions on Common values and principles in European Union Health Systems, 2006). Various systems are struggling to contain cost growth, while financial pressures make it increasingly challenging to ensure social security and healthcare provision in individual states of the EU and beyond (EC, 2011).
Since the onset of the global economic crisis, Slovenia has been facing increased instabilities, not only in terms of financial sustainability of the healthcare system but also in other areas of social organisation and development. The crisis has uncovered many structural weaknesses in the country, in existing regulations there are frequent deviations, while in terms of financial sustainability of public systems and of the welfare system, the demographic structure and the predictions for the future are also proving to be less than favourable.
The thesis presents the current state and the development of trends of individual items that are directly connected to the provision of sufficient and stable sources of healthcare funding (public and private funding sources, taxes, and social contributions) and, further, examines the scope of solidarity and social fairness in this context. Based on theoretical insights, comparative data, qualitative analysis, and mathematical calculations, the concluding part of the thesis assesses the impact of the current arrangement on selected indicators of solidarity and social fairness (namely, universal access to healthcare, progressivity and proportionality, basket of basic healthcare rights, the cost-sharing rate between different social groups in the compulsory health insurance system, premium levels in supplementary health insurance, rate of direct, out-of-pocket payments) and identifies potential prospects for future development.
Healthcare funding in Slovenia is not fair and adversely impacts the principle of solidarity. Considering the demographic and social changes, this threat to the principle of solidarity, which is already becoming the new reality, is expected to continue to grow in the following years. Nevertheless, in current circumstances of fiscal restraint, there is an urgent need for a re-examination of public revenue to find stable resources of financing the (public) healthcare system that will meet healthcare needs of the population as well as respond to numerous other demands in and outside of the system.
In order to ensure solidarity and social justice on the level of collecting funds for the healthcare system, we need consistent and coordinated policies in all key areas of social organisation and development as well as coordinated action of all key functions within the healthcare system. This is the only way to build the welfare system, encourage equality and justice within the system, and improve the quality of life for all, which is a major determinant of welfare and the main goal of social development.|