Slovakia participated in the European Commission’s (EC’s) “Closing the Gap” project conducted from 2004 to 2007, which tackled socioeconomic health inequalities. Health equality issues were included in the National Health Promotion Programme of the Slovak Republic, approved by Parliament and effective from June 2006. The objective of the Ministry of Health is to create conditions that ensure good health for the population. This involves raising public awareness of health determinants and reducing health inequalities. The primary objective of the National Health Promotion Programme is to initiate partnerships in different areas of health in order to promote and improve the level of public health. At the regional level, health equalities are associated with the provision of health services, defined within the scope of social strategy. According to the National Health Promotion Programme, the more healthoriented activities are provided by health clinics in regional public health authorities, the better the health promotion of the whole population and the stronger the partnership.
Since 2008, all employers must offer an occupational health service for employees working in high-risk environments. An occupational health service is a professional counselling service for employers in occupational health protection. It includes professional health risk assessment and occupational health monitoring. It is provided by health professionals with special qualifications or by external bodies that are authorized by the PHA. For more information on public health programmes see section 5.1.