Slovene and international experts discuss the latest findings for the advancement of health care at Bled

11th international scientific conference 'Inter-professional integration at different levels of health care: trends, needs, and challenges'
Bled, June 7, 2018 – Today, Bled is hosting the 11th international scientific conference entitled Inter-professional integration at different levels of health care: trends, needs, and challenges organized by the Angela Boškin Faculty of Health Care. The day-long event will feature Slovenian and foreign experts who will present 46 papers on the current challenges in health care, nursing, health promotion, and physiotherapy.

“The conference covers a whole range of different topics. We will hear many new ideas and proposals on how to improve current healthcare provision. Participants will include experts from various professional groups in health care, as the main conference focus is inter-professional integration as the basis of high-quality and safe healthcare provision,” said Sanela Pivač, Acting Dean of the Angela Boškin Faculty of Health Care. “Speakers will present the latest research findings in such areas as population ageing, chronic conditions, healthcare management, the educational system, and health promotion. A new field added this year is physiotherapy, as our Faculty gets ready to receive the first generation of students of the study program Physiotherapy this fall. We strongly believe that this is the leading event of its kind in Slovenia which also enjoys great international recognition.”

Participants were also greeted by Mr. Stojan Sorčan, Director-General of the Higher Education Directorate at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. “We at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport highly value the efforts of the Angela Boškin Faculty of Health Care to further improve their high-quality study programs by openly cooperating with eminent international universities and research partners, as well as the clinical setting and other healthcare professionals in Slovenia,” Mr. Sorčan said. “The 11th international scientific conference Inter-professional integration at different levels of health care: trends, needs, and challenges is an excellent opportunity for the faculty to additionally strengthen its role as a research and higher education institution in the international scientific community and in the Slovenian clinical setting.”

Plenary session highlights international experience

Dr. Joanne Brooke from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University presented a paper on the challenges of providing care to prisoners with dementia in United Kingdom. Older prisoners are the fastest growing group within the prison population, with the number of prisoners over the age of 60 having increased by 120% between 2003 and 2013 in the UK, which significantly affects the functioning of the prison system. Research evidence has shown that prisoners’ physical health is comparable to that of their non-incarcerated peers who are 10 years older. Moreover, the prisoner population has a higher rate of chronic conditions. According to estimates, 71% of prisoners aged 50-54 years suffer from at least one chronic condition, and this percentage increases to 92 in the age group 70 years or older. The prisoner population also has a high risk of developing dementia. Estimates from the US show that 40% of prisoners over the age of 55 years suffer from a decrease in cognitive function.

Dr. Alice Kiger from the Institute of Applied Health Sciences (the University of Aberdeen) discussed the factors that have led to a lack of health care professionals in North East Scotland during the plenary session. These factors include staffing issues, insufficient enrollment into health care and medical programs, an unclear situation of EU citizens due to Brexit, retirement, emigration, and a change of profession. As a result, registered nurses and advanced practice nurses with plenty of experience and different competences are increasingly assuming new and broader roles within the British healthcare system. This development is enabling registered nurses to grow professionally, while ensuring that the healthcare system provides more competent and cost-efficient care to the ageing population in conditions characterized by a lack of physicians.

The plenary session was concluded by talks by dr. Walter Sermeus (Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy), who presented the Belgian national plan for patients with chronic conditions and 14 pilot projects aimed at organizing and managing patient care at the local level, and by dr. Cecilia Rokusek who discussed the demographic transition and the challenges it presents for both the healthcare and the social care sectors.

The full program of the 11th international scientific conference organized under the auspices of the Nurses and Midwives Association of Slovenia can be found here.
About the Angela Boškin Faculty of Health Care
The Angela Boškin Faculty of Health Care is a young, modern and ambitious faculty offering high-quality higher education programs in nursing and health care. Its beginnings date back to 2007 and since then it has managed to solidify its place among the leading faculties in Slovenia with its advanced teaching approaches, diverse international cooperation, and a strong emphasis on research and development. It was the first health care faculty in Slovenia to gain international accreditation for the first-cycle and second-cycle Nursing study programs. In 2016, the doctoral program Health Sciences (third cycle) also received accreditation, and in the academic year 2018/19, the faculty is getting ready to welcome the first generation of students of the higher education program Physiotherapy (first cycle program). More on ABFHC: www.fzab.si.

For more information, please contact: Alenka Rožnik Kirar, dekanat@fzab.si, 04 58 69 360