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The main institution responsible for the state health policy is the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic (further MHSR), managed by the Minister.
The Ministry of Health provides state administration in the following areas:
- Health care,
- Health protection,
- Public health insurance
- Further education of health workers,
- Natural healing spas, natural healing resources, natural mineral waters,
- Price policy on product prices, services and acts in healthcare and others (Statute of the ministry)
Activities of the Ministry of Health:
- setting-up of various expert committees as appropriate,
- law establishment for the health area,
- creation of strategic documents related to public health, health care and other areas within its sphere of influence, including documents focused on health of children and youth (e.g. the National Children and Adolescents Care Programme in the Slovak Republic for 2008 – 2015, the National Mental Health Program ). National Action Plan for Obesity Prevention 2015-2020 .
In the organisational structure of the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic, there is no department focusing exclusively on the health of children and youth. This topic is partially covered by the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic.
Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic (further PHASR) manages 36 regional offices.
The Department of Public Health and Hygiene of PHASR is dedicated to the groups of children and youth.
PHASR’s Activities and operations related to the health of children and youth:
- control of the level of hygiene in child and youth facilities (e.g. school meals),
- monitoring of the quality of drinking water,
- monitoring of the epidemiological situation,
- research and projects realization (cross reference 7.4) to promote good health of children and youth
- organisation of campaigns to protect and promote health and well-being of children and young people,
- running of 36 regional public health offices focusing on reduction of life-style risk factors.
The National Health Information Center (NHIC) monitors the health status of the population and its determinants.
The Statistical Office of the SR annually processes and publishes the statistics carried out by the MZ SR and the NHIC as well as the statistics on the environment.
The Relationship of National and Regional Health Policy in the Slovak Republic
- some competencies in Health policy transferred from the state administration.
- The Office of the Self-Governing Region has its own Department of Health in their structure.
- Responsible for healthcare organization in the region such as operating times of pharmacies, region coverage of specialized medical care, healthcare facilities, etc. (e.g. Office of Žilina Self-Governing Region),
- health policy at the level of the self-governing region does not deal with children and youth as a separate target group.
Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic cooperates with other ministries and central institutions in these areas of Health policy:
- Health education, promotion of healthy lifestyle and protection of life and health of children and youth – cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic.
- Health and social policy, health protection at work, in identifying diseases requiring special care - cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and the Family of the Slovak Republic.
- National anti-drugs policy is the result of cooperation among the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, the Ministry of Inferior of the Slovak Republic, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Slovak Republic and other ministries involved in the implementation of preventive and repressive measures (Government Council of Anti-drugs Policy).
- protection of the health of the marginalized Roma communities - cooperation with the Government Plenipotentiary for Roma Communities of the Slovak Republic. The Office of the Plenipotentiary for Roma communities implements several programs and projects that are also focused on health protection, strategic documents preparation and action plans to promote the health and well-being of residents of marginalized Roma communities, it proposes concrete measures to promote good health of Roma youth.
Mechanisms of cooperation:
- Inter-ministerial amendment procedures, in which individual ministries comment on all draft laws and strategic documents to be adopted by the Government of the Slovak Republic.
- Working groups and advisory bodies of the Ministries and the Government of the Slovak Republic are another form of cooperation between various sectors that create and comment on some strategic documents, such as the Interdepartmental Working Group for State Policy in Youth and the Committee for Children and Youth, (more information in 1.5). working commission for "Scientific and technical services - Modernization of physical education and sport" - project of rehabilitation of the population with emphasis on children, youth and family.