Slovenia Gives a Thumbs-up to Foreign Medical Specialists

On Thursday, 19 July 2018, amendments to the Law on Medical Services came into effect simplifying the employment of doctors from countries outside the EU. The adoption of these changes is caused by the shortage of paediatric cardiologists at the University Clinical Centre of Ljubljana.

According to the new version of the Law, in emergency cases, the Minister of Health Care will issue an order that will allow doctors from third countries with special professional knowledge to temporarily provide medical services in Slovenia. The Minister will be able to resort to such a measure if the state institutions officially employing Slovenian specialists are not able to provide uninterrupted services, which may create serious risks for the health and life of patients.

Foreign specialists will not be required to know the Slovenian language. At the same time, the hospital staff will have to provide foreign medical specialists with normal conditions for communication with patients and their relatives in Slovenian.

A foreign doctor will be able to work in Slovenia for a maximum of 1 year if he or she is officially invited by a higher educational medical institution and if three Slovenian doctors stand surety for his or her professional skills, one of whom should be the national coordinator in given medical field, and the other two are practicing medical specialists.

It should be noted that the old version of the Law on Medical Services established too strict conditions for employment of foreign medical specialists – citizens of countries that are not members of the EU in Slovenia.