Slovenia has an incredibly rich history when it comes to preventive work on chronic diseases within the healthcare system. A universally accessible national programme has been in place since 2002, and takes place at general practices and at the health education and health promotion centres located within all 61 of the country’s health centres.
The beginnings of the Together for Health programme stretch back to the period of development of the CINDI Slovenija programme, whose main emphasis was on preventing and overcoming chronic non-communicable disease. From the outset, the elements of the CINDI programme were regularly upgraded, in cooperation with a wide range of specialists, to reflect the professional developments being made in the field. Today, through the Together for Health programme, all adults in Slovenia have access to a comprehensive integrated chronic disease prevention programme. The programme is run by specially qualified health professionals based in general practices, community nursing services, and health promotion and health education centres. They work closely with other providers in health centres and local communities. An interdisciplinary group of experts at the National Institute of Public Health is responsible for the development, implementation and quality assurance of the Together for Health programme.
- Logo of the Together for Health programme for use in printed media and online.
THE PROGRAMME CONSISTS OF THREE GROUPS OF ACTIVITIES:
- the organisation of preventive examinations at general practices aimed at the early detection of risk factors for the development of a chronic disease
- group workshops and one-to-one consultations providing help and support to anyone looking to change their lifestyle and strengthen their mental health, and carried out by specialists at health promotion or health education centres
- a wide range of health promotion activities taking place, in collaboration with health professionals, in local communities – that is, where you live and work.
Purpose, aims and funding of the programme
The basic purpose of the Together for Health programme is to improve the country’s health and quality of life.
The main aims of the programme are:
- to reduce the premature deaths, morbidity and disability associated with some of the most common chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, obesity, depression, osteoporosis, etc.)
- to detect and overcome the behavioural, biological and psychosocial factors that increase the risk of developing a chronic disease
- to improve mental health
- to empower people to look after their own health
- to improve quality of life
To ensure that we are successful in our attempts to achieve such major changes in society, such as preventing the chronic diseases that are becoming ever more prevalent today, the programme focuses on:
- facilitating the early identification of people with chronic disease risk factors, of those at risk of developing some of the most common chronic diseases, and of patients suffering from chronic diseases
- providing expert information, teaching skills and providing support for long-term changes in health-related lifestyles, empowering people to live with chronic disease and strengthening mental health
- establishing a network of partners from the local environment to support individuals in their efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage their chronic non-communicable disease
Participation in the Together for Health programme is entirely free of charge, with the costs of the programme being covered by the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia under the terms of the compulsory health insurance scheme.