Friday, 15 October 2021

Doctors Condemn Protest Outside Minister Beroš's Home

ZAGREB, 15 Oct 2021 - The Croatian Medical Chamber (HLK) and Croatian Medical Association (HLZ) on Friday condemned the anti-vaxxer protest outside Health Minister Vili Beroš's home.

About a dozen citizens gathered outside Beroš's home on Thursday evening after a Religious Instruction teacher from Križevci called on them to do so on his Facebook profile.

In the post entitled "House visit to COVID response team", Ivan Pokupac wrote that they would come unannounced in front of the home of one member of the national response team every day and stand around for 15 minutes to let them, their families and neighbours know of the "terror they are imposing on citizens."

The two medical associations said that such threatening behaviour of individuals directed against the family of any citizen, and in this case of an official, is an essentially unacceptable act that could put these families in jeopardy.

In any democratic society, there is no room for protests and demonstrations in front of an individual's home and they directly threaten the safety of family members.

Calls for violence and hate speech on social networks are a criminal act, and unfortunately, this unacceptable protest was preceded precisely by such comments on social networks, HLK and HLZ warned.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Health Minister Visits Site of Future Institute of Immunology Factory

ZAGREB, 17 Sept 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš on Friday visited the site of a future Institute of Immunology factory in Brezje near Sveta Nedelja, west of Zagreb, where the production of snake antivenom would be relaunched, to be followed by the production of plasma-derived products and child and other vaccines.

Institute of Immunology director Vedran Čardžić said that the construction of the factory, a project worth about HRK 100 million, should start at the end of 2022 or early 2023.

The factory's main product would be vaccines but there are plans to launch the production of antivenom for the duration of preparations for construction work and regulation of the related legal matters.

"We will launch the production of antivenom during preparations for the construction of the new factory. That unit will be part of the new factory which will focus on vaccines against children's diseases (measles). Those vaccines used to be produced by the Institute of Immunology and the state owns the master seeds which international experts say are the best because they give the best vaccination results owing to their properties," said Čardžić.

This is expected to be followed by the launch of production of plasma-derived products and potential adoption of technologies for the production of newer virus vaccines in cooperation with partners, which is being negotiated, he said.

Minister Beroš said that this spring Croatia was faced with a shortage of antivenom, and even though the problem was quickly solved, he noted that as a tourist destination, Croatia should be able to rely on its own antivenom production.

He noted that antivenom production was expected to start before the next tourist season, adding that current employees of the Institute of Immunology would make up the core of the research staff at the new factory.

Čardžić also pointed to the need to attract new experts, noting that he would contact universities to inquire about successful students nearing graduation who would be interested in working at the Institute of Immunology.

Sveta Nedelja Mayor Dario Zurovec expressed hope the project would be a sustainable model of public-private partnership, announcing support by local authorities.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

GLAS Party: Beroš Must Leave But His Departure Won't Solve Problems in Health System

April 25, 2021 - The parliamentary GLAS party said on Sunday that Health Minister Vili Beroš should step down due to the scandal with the cijepise.hr platform for registration for COVID-19 vaccination but warned that problems in the health system would not be solved with his departure alone.

"Minister Beroš, who has shamelessly awarded jobs worth millions of kuna to his friends amidst the horror in the health system he has caused, and who tells us that 'services say that everything is all right', refuses to assume any responsibility for the chaos caused by his vaccination platform," the party said in a press release.

As for the minister's statement that it was not true that the platform was not functioning but that rather it was not working as one would want, GLAS says that only Beroš knows the exact difference.

"People who registered for vaccination but whose registration was deleted by the platform, people above 65 and chronic patients who are still waiting for an invitation to vaccination, as well as general practitioners, are bearing the witness on a daily basis to how the platform functions or 'does not function the way we would want it to function'," GLAS said.

Calling for the minister's resignation, the party notes that one should not think that it would solve any of the problems in the health system or make it start functioning.

"Beroš is a minister because (PM Andrej) Plenković appointed him and responsibility lies primarily with the prime minister. As long as Plenković is Prime Minister and the HDZ is in power, we will keep sinking deeper and deeper."

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 19 April 2021

SDP Plans No-Confidence Vote in Health Minister

ZAGREB, 19 April, 2021 - The Social Democratic Party plans to talk with other opposition parties this week about a no-confidence vote in Health Minister Vili Beroš due to the many problems and omissions in his department, with SDP leader Peđa Grbin saying on Monday it was his "obligation to react to such obscenities."

Speaking to Hina, he said that if for no other reason, Beroš should be given a vote of no confidence because recently hospitals remained without drugs.

Grbin said "the debt in healthcare has reached unbelievable levels" and mentioned "the disorder" with the online platform for COVID-19 vaccination, adding also that Beroš "claims he has prepared the health reform and given it to (PM Andrej) Plenković, Plenković says that isn't true, which means that one of them is lying."

Grbin is not discouraged by the estimate that the ruling majority will most likely reject the no-confidence vote, saying that "our obligation to the people who gave us their trust is to react to such obscenities."

Minister responsible for lack of reforms

Homeland Movement whip Stephen Bartulica said his party had been critical of Beroš's performance for a long time.

"We'll see in consultations with other opposition parties if we'll ask for a no-confidence vote in Beroš, but I think we have a number of reasons for putting that item on the agenda."

We are for a debate on the situation in healthcare and the minister's responsibility, and we think parliament will respond well to that question, he said.

Rada Borić of the green-left bloc said the minister's responsibility should be discussed because of the complete failure to embark on a radical health reform.

Healthcare does not need surface but systematic reforms, as does social welfare, because all we have seen so far has been shifting the blame, she added.

"Problems in healthcare are not from yesterday, but in decent democratic countries, when one sees that the system has failed and that there have been suspect activities, it is the minister's responsibility to resign," Borić said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 19 April 2021

MOST: Beroš Not Only One Responsible for Situation in Health System

ZAGREB, 19 April, 2021 - The opposition MOST party on Monday called for an urgent reform of the health system, saying that Health Minister Vili Beroš was not the only one to blame for the bad situation in that sector and that the entire government and PM Andrej Plenković were also responsible.

"Recent statements by Finance Minister Zdravko Marić in the parliament are a result of an order to find the scapegoat for the situation in the health system, and that is Health Minister Vili Beroš, who a few months ago was a superhero, a result of the government's PR strategy," MOST MP and Zagreb mayoral candidate Zvonimir Troskot told a news conference.

He recalled Beroš's having said that a draft health reform was waiting on the government's table but that it was evident that there was no political courage or will to implement it.

By saying so, Beroš has revealed the real culprit for the lack of any necessary reforms. All Plenković is interested in is his position, Troskot said, calling on Beroš and Plenković to put the draft health reform to public consultation, adding that MOST would support it if it proved to be to the benefit of citizens, "even at the cost of a drop in party ratings."

As for a possible vote on Beroš's replacement, he said that Bridge would vote for it but that Beroš was not the only one to blame, reiterating that the Andrej Plenković government lacked the courage for any vital reform, including the health reform.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Croatia Receives Another 17,550 Doses of COVID Vaccine

ZAGREB, 4 January, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beros said on Monday that an additional 17,550 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been delivered earlier in the day, and that 12,285 people had been vaccinated since Croatia started administering the vaccines against this infectious disease.

Beros said that a lower number of tests performed in the last few days could be ascribed to the fact that this was the period of Christmas and New Year holidays.

The minister expects more tests to be conducted as of mid-January.

As of the current stringent anti-COVID measures that are in place until 10 January, the minister said that their prolongation would depend on the epidemiological situation.

Croatia has registered 361 new coronavirus cases and 54 infection-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team said on Monday.

The number of active cases stands at 5,899 and 2,453 people are receiving hospital treatment, including 196 on ventilators.

With the 54 latest fatalities, the death toll has climbed to 4,126.

Since February 25, when the first case of infection was confirmed in the country, 213,319 people have been infected with the novel virus. A total of 203,294 have recovered, of whom 852 in the last 24 hours. Currently 16,865 people are in self-isolation.

A total of 1,035,076 people have been tested for coronavirus, including 2,985 in the last 24 hours.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Beroš: Record Blood Donations Yesterday, Over 1000 Vaccine Doses for Petrinja

December 31, 2020 – Health Minister Vili Beroš commented on the record blood donations collected in Petrova Hospital in Zagreb yesterday and coronavirus vaccine doses sent to the quake-affected area.

As N1 reports, in front of the Dubrava Hospital, where some COVID positive patients arrived from the earthquake-affected area, Health Minister Vili Beroš commented on patients' situation after the earthquake.

Record blood doses after 1995

"This morning, I received information from the Croatian Institute for Transfusion Medicine that yesterday, a record number of blood doses was collected in Zagreb's Petrova Hospital, over 750 doses. The last time we had a similar turnout was August 5, 1995, the beginning of the Storm war operation. This shows the consciousness of the Croatian people," said Beroš.

"From a health point of view, this is a challenge. We want to provide health care to everyone. Given that most health facilities have been severely damaged, I believe we will respond adequately. As much as 90 percent of the Sisak hospital is out of order, so we have to adjust the health system and provide health care to the entire surrounding area," said Beroš.

He pointed out that many health centers are out of order. He also revealed that the Health Ministry sends about a thousand doses of vaccine to the affected area.

'Virus is still here'

"On Saturday, a team of epidemiologists from the Croatian Institute for Public Health will vaccinate all people who are in collective accommodation, emergency workers, and emergency services who are in the area and who will be there for three weeks, including all members of civil protection. Plans exist to adapt to the situation. Epidemiologists will estimate the situation and see how many vaccines are still needed. We are sending more than 1000 doses," said Beroš.

The Minister pointed out that there are enough reserves of protective equipment. He also said that the problem of drug delivery would be solved. Rapid antigen tests are being conducted among nursing home users in the area to find out if there are infections in collective accommodation.

"After the earthquake, Minister Aladrović contacted me. They enabled the accommodation for nursing home users from Petrinja in the Popovača Hospital and other places. There are positive cases among the users, so we are looking for accommodation for them with the county authorities. We still have to stick to measures, masks, distances, disinfection. The virus is still there. These circumstances favor its spread," said Beroš.

The Minister stressed that all health professionals with COVID patients must receive the promised money for the reward.

For more on the Petrinja earthquake, please follow our dedicated section.

Monday, 21 December 2020

Beros: COVID Crisis Has Cost Health System HRK 927.4 mn

ZAGREB, Dec 21, 2020 - Health Minister Vili Beros said on Monday that the COVID crisis had so far cost the health system HRK 927.4 million.

Data show that by December 18, HRK 574.4 million was spent on testing, HRK 268.9 million on treatment and more than HRK 83 million on sick leaves, Beros said at the national COVID-19 crisis management team's press conference.

He also said that a meeting was being held at the Health Ministry with drug wholesalers regarding the health system's debt to them.

Beros said that the number of new COVID-19 infections had started dropping.

The average number of services provided in all health institutions in Croatia is at 67.21% compared to the second week of December 2019.

"These are encouraging data as they show that despite the burden of COVID-19 positive patients we are finding ways, strength and opportunities to respond to other needs, especially in oncology," Beros said.

Despite the fact that the health system has completely adapted to COVID patients, the number of services provided in Zagreb's hospitals is at 74% compared to the second week of December last  year, and only the KB Dubrava hospital, which is completely focused on treating coronavirus patients, has provided 11% of other services.

Other patients using KB Dubrava's services, 3,993 of them, have been sent to other health institutions via the call centre, Beros said.

He added that there were also institutions like the Magdalena Clinic which is at 119% of provided services due to taking over some of KB Dubrava's cardiac surgery patients.

Beros said there would be no changes regarding the realisation of the right of health workers to a full salary after getting infected with COVID.

He said that all those who had got infected at work would receive 100% of their salary, but they have to ask their employer for confirmation.

(€1= HRK 7.5)

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Health Minister Says Number of Infections, Deaths Alarming

ZAGREB, November 22, 2020 - Health Minister Vili Beros, who is isolating at home because he has coronavirus, said on Saturday the situation with the number of infections and related deaths was alarming and announced that he would talk with county heads on Tuesday.

Speaking for RTL television via video link, he again called for people to be more responsible.

"Tuesday is an important day, when all of us at national level will once again talk with prefects, which will be an opportunity for the national, local and regional governments to hold constructive talks and assess all problems."

Asked if that meant they would discuss new restrictions, Beros said every opportunity was good for talks.

He said many were criticising the national COVID response team's measures, but added that many in the world claimed that milder restrictions would be effective if people complied with them.

"We can impose stricter measures, but if people won't wear masks and (if they) socialise at private gatherings... Everything is an opportunity to show responsibility."

Asked if it was realistic for a vaccine to be in Croatia by Christmas, Beros said, "We joined early enough all European initiatives for procuring vaccines from various manufacturers. As a state, we have done everything. Now it's all up to the manufacturers."

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Minister: Spike in Cases Not Good, However, the Infected Have Mild Symptoms

ZAGREB, Aug 27, 2020 - Health Minister Vili Beros told the government on Thursday that during the past seven days, Croatia experienced the biggest spike in coronavirus cases, and that the numbers are not good, however, the clinical status of people infected with the virus is milder than at the onset of the epidemic.

Since the outbreak the epidemic of the coronavirus on 25 February,  8,889 people in Croatia have been diagnosed with this infectious disease, and 157,387 people have been tested for it.

Currently, there are 2,352 active cases, Beros said.

Of those active cases, 174 are receiving hospital treatment, and this is 7.4% of all those currently infected. There are 10 patients on ventilators or 0.4% of the infected, Beros said.

Responsible behaviour can markedly reduce the spread of the infection, and the minister called on Croatians to strictly comply with epidemiological measures.

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