A number of programmes for health promotion and disease prevention are available in the framework of the healthcare system in Slovenia. Despite universal access to these programmes, however, there are noticeable differences in their utilisation among various social groups. The overall objective of the project is to reduce lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases by strengthening preventive health care capacity. The preventive programme for children and youth shall be upgraded and the programme for integrated lifestyle-related disease prevention for adults shall be developed. Decision makers and health care professionals shall benefit from the project. However, the main beneficiaries will be the users of preventive healthcare services. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health will actively cooperate in setting up the system for monitoring and evaluation of the healthcare programmes. Through exchange of experience it will also contribute to capacity-building of the Slovene healthcare professionals.
Summary of project results
Health of the entire population in Slovenia in recent decades has improved. However, individuals from various socio-economic groups achieve their health potential to different degrees. Health system alone cannot reduce health inequalities but can significantly contribute to the goal with many activities emphasising equal access. Improved programmes for lifestyle related diseases prevention based on the needs of the population and strengthened capacities in primary healthcare to implement the interventions are some of the effective approaches. Decision makers need evidences to underpin decisions and new models created in the project can be used to upgrade the existing preventive programme and contribute to the goals of the on-going health reform. The overall objective of the project was to reduce life style related chronic diseases with new interventions and strengthening capacities at the primary healthcare level. By increasing knowledge of inequalities in health among health care workers and other stakeholders in addition to the new models of preventive programmes, the project contributed to the capacities needed in combating chronic diseases. Over 100 workshops, events, professional meetings, education programmes were carried out. More than 100 health care workers attended extensive trainings and learning materials were prepared for future needs. Numbers of analysis, training materials, brochures, reports and other material were created. New models of the upgraded preventive health care programme for children and young people and adults were designed and piloted with the focus on community approach to promote health and reduce health inequalities in the local community. Such approach provides responses to the needs of the population in the local environment, better access to services and treatments, development of supportive networks and groups for self-assistance, and takes into account formal and non-formal forms of help.
Summary of bilateral results
The cooperation of experts from Slovenian and Norwegian national institutes of public health and sharing experiences and ideas, in addition to the agreed project activities, resulted also in further mutual benefits in the form of the product called "Health in a Municipality". The idea of the product stems from the Norwegian good practice, i.e. Municipality Health Profiles. Slovenian experts got familiar with the Norwegian Health Profile in the initial period of their participation in the predefined project. They recognised health profiles as an additional tool that could contribute to the realisation of the project objectives. The acquired knowledge and a great interest of Slovenian experts were exploited and the work in this field commenced. Cooperation of both institutions in the joined project foresaw study visits and professional cooperation as well as sharing of knowledge between both countries. The most prominently identified joined area of operation related to health care data and health indicators. Norwegian colleagues also shared with Slovenian experts their experience in developing and implementing the so-called Norwegian Health Profiles and that accelerated the development of Slovenian health indicators in municipalities. On the other hand, the cooperation with Slovenian experts provided the Norwegians a valuable critical view on their previous work, and they also acquired experience regarding the transfer of such products to a country with a different health system, different social, economic and cultural history and also with different baselines in terms of data access and use. The bilateral fund contributed to strengthened bilateral relations at the project level. Cooperation of both institutions in the joined project with professional cooperation and with knowledge shared between countries contributed to better results (mainly in the field of set of indicators) and visibility of the results (mainly in the field of reducing in inequalities in health).