Slovenia’s healthcare system, inclusive of the city of Maribor, operates on a social health insurance model. A single public insurer, the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia, administers universal compulsory health insurance. Alongside this, the majority of residents also procure complementary health insurance to cover co-payments. Public providers, including a robust network of healthcare centers, hospitals, and outpatient clinics, deliver health services at primary and secondary levels. Private providers, possessing a “concession”, also extend publicly funded services.

In Slovenia, public health services are an integral part of the healthcare system, as outlined by legislative acts. The Health Services Act of 1992, in particular, details “public health” as a gamut of operations including population health monitoring and evaluation, risk factor surveillance, public health response to health threats, health protection measures, disease prevention, health promotion, and public health research and education.

Historically, public health services have been prominent in Slovenia’s healthcare landscape. These operations largely mirrored developments in hygiene and social medicine in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, aimed at preventing and controlling communicable disease epidemics.

A significant restructuring of public health institutes and laboratories in 2013 led to the establishment of the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the National Laboratory for Health, Environment, and Food (NLHEF). Both organizations became fully operational in 2014 and have regional structures. This reform aimed to centralize public health operations to improve coordination, ensure consistent public funding, and provide equitable access to public health services across Slovenia.

In terms of quality, Slovenia’s healthcare system is highly regarded. With access to healthcare services and outcomes mirroring those of other European countries, the country’s healthcare standard is commendable. However, like many healthcare systems globally, Slovenia faces challenges like lengthy waiting times for certain procedures, the need for enhanced care coordination, and the sustainability of healthcare financing.