Monday, 6 February 2023

Alarming State of Croatian Healthcare - Young Doctors Don't Bother Staying

February 6, 2023 - Croatian healthcare has reached an alarming state. The country currently lacks up to 230 family doctors and around 170 primary pediatricians, gynecologists and speech therapists, Social Democrat member of parliament Romana Nikolić estimated on Monday. Over 180 doctors are over 65 years old and work only out of pure enthusiasm because they have no one to leave their patients to, 750 doctors are over 60 years old, and currently only 150 of them are in specialization, Nikolić warned at the press conference.

As Poslovni writes, if al the older doctors were to retire at this moment, around 300 thousand citizens would be left without their chosen family medicine doctor. Nikolić noted that Croatia is threatened with the collapse of the entire healthcare system.

She believes that young doctors stay away from family medicine because they have the lowest salaries and benefits in the system.

This can best be seen in the example of Đakovo. The Trnava Municipality, which consists of six villages, according to the last population census has about 1,300 inhabitants, and has not had a family doctor for a year, says Nikolić.

She also stated that every doctor needs to be given the opportunity to choose whether they want to work in a health center or in a private practice, but to still be contractually bound by the HZZO, with clearly set rules and without administrative obstacles.

She finds it necessary to promote family medicine during studies, and the local self-government should, she says, find ways to stimulate young people to come and work with them through scholarships and housing subsidies.

Hajduković: Mobile clinics and pharmacies would help older citizens

"Pediatricians are retiring, and they don't have adequate replacements. The entire region of Miholjac depends on one pediatrician who works part-time while in retirement, reminds parliament member and party vice-president Domagoj Hajduković.

He also notes that there is a big problem with internships that must be completed in order to get a work license and so that doctors can enter the labour market.

The state does not provide it to the required extent, it takes a few years and then many decide to leave Croatia, Hajduković points out. He adds that there are currently around 3,000 people waiting for an internship, and that the minister has announced that only 1,500 places will be secured in 2023. He sees the basic problem in the fact that the state did not provide enough money so that everyone could complete the internship within a reasonable time.

Hajduković also states that access to health care for many elderly citizens is limited and that this problem could be partially solved by establishing mobile clinics, palliative clinics and mobile pharmacies that would be part of the Health Centers of local and regional self-government units.

These are projects that literally mean life for the rural area, and such problems should have been solved by the so-called project Slavonia and European money, Hajduković concluded.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

European Patient Experience & Innovation Congress Holds Webinars

July 2, 2020 - In line with the new world circumstances, European Patient experience & Innovation Congress also decided to move their gatherings online.

For this reason, once a month until February 2021, there will be one webinar which will talk about health and innovation. The first webinar was held in June with the topic New Markets, New Patient Expectations, with excellent speakers Irving Stackpole (Stackpole & Associates, Inc.) & Elizabeth Ziemba (Medical Tourism Training). For all of you who did not participate, you can watch a video of the webinar here.

July 9th at 2020 at 1:00 PM EDT / 6:00 PM CET will bring us a new online treat with outstanding guests. The topic of the webinar is The Patient Experience & Outcome Measures through which, Chris Graham from Picker Institute and Karin Jay from Planetree International, will take you.

Chris Graham is the CEO of Picker Institute Europe, a leading international charity that exists to promote and improve person-centered care. A researcher by background, Chris has particular expertise in measuring, understanding, and using people’s experiences of healthcare and has worked with partners around the world to develop approaches to patient feedback.

Karin Jay is Senior Vice President at Global Services-Planetree where she is working to expand the network of Planetree Affiliates internationally, and provide consultation to key stakeholders on the implementation of Planetree’s relationship-centered model of care and international certification criteria. Prior to joining Planetree, Karin spent 22+ years working in the accreditation and international quality/patient safety arena.

She will be talking about Restoring Consumer Confidence by Partnering with Patients and Families. This session will explore what we are learning about healthcare delivery from our patients, and how we can try to restore the confidence of patients, families, and the community through deep and meaningful partnerships.

Chris will talk about Why measure people’s experiences? His session will look at the role that measuring and understanding experiences can play in ensuring that care services are person-centered, including the barriers to effective use of experience information and how these can be overcome. 

Don`t miss this fantastic online event. Find more info and apply today at the European Patient experience & Innovation Congress website.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Healthcare System Is Not Overburdened

ZAGREB, April 29, 2020 - Minister Vili Beroš said on Tuesday evening that the healthcare system was not overburdened with the number of COVID-19 patients who needed hospital treatment and could resume performing elective surgeries and the postponed diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Commenting the current state of affairs in the health system, the minister told the Nova TV commercial broadcaster that the situation allowed for the gradual reactivation of all services.

He said that the number the personnel available would be sufficient for the gradual reactivation of the system.

Beroš informed that five employees in the Split hospital had been diagnosed with the virus lately and that nine patients had been placed in isolation.

The centres for transfusion medicine in Croatia have sufficient blood supplies and are ready to meet the needs of hospitals once they restore elective surgeries which have been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the head of the Croatian Institute for Transfusion Medicine (HZTM), Irena Jukić, said on on 20 April.

The institute and centres had enough supplies of blood and blood products for transfusion during operations performed by the hospitals.

"We have enough supplies when elective surgeries start to be performed," Jukic told Hina last week.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Henkel Makes Donation to Croatian Charities, Alkaloid and PPD to Hospitals

ZAGREB, April 28, 2020 - Henkel has donated goods worth more than HRK 1.9 million to Croatia's Red Cross and the Caritas Zagreb, while Alkaloid has deposited HRK 250,000 to the Petrova Women's Hospital and Jordanovac Hospital for lung diseases as relief after the 22 March earthquake.

The donation from Henkel, this Duesseldorl-headquartered company specialised in adhesive technologies, beauty care, laundry & home care, is intended for elderly and disabled citizens affected by the situation regarding the coronavirus and as assistance for those people whose homes were damaged during the March 22 earthquake.

"We are grateful for organisations like Caritas and the Red Cross that, thanks to their widespread network of volunteers, help low-income people or people who had to leave their homes in the wake of the earthquake," said Henkel's Commercial Director for Croatia and Slovenia Marko Mintas, adding that he hopes that the donation will help relieve their everyday lives at least a little.

Red Cross executive director Robert Markt said he was glad that the donated products would make happy those people in trouble, whose lives have additionally been made more difficult with the coronavirus and recent earthquake.

Director of Caritas Zagreb, Sister Jelena Lončar said that the donation would help a lot of families who were affected by the earthquake and coronavirus.

The Alkaloid Skopje company, specialised in pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, donated the financial assistance to the two hospitals in Zagreb to deal with the quake consequences.

The Prvo Plinarsko Društvo gas supply company from Vukovar has donated HRK 2.9 million for the procurement of medical equipment for eight hospitals throughout Croatia, the company informed on Monday.

HRK 800,00 will go to Osijek Hospital, HRK 500,000 to the Nasice General Hospital as well as to the Sestre Milosrdnice Hospital in Zagreb, HRK 400,000 for Vukovar General Hospital, and HRK 200,000 each for the Zadar, Varaždin and Dubrovnik general hospitals and an additional HRK 100,000 for the emergency ambulance service in Umag.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Rovinj Orthopaedic Hospital Resumes Work

ZAGREB, April 28, 2020 - The Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Hospital in the Croatian coastal town of Rovinj resumed working on Monday, with enhanced protective measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus being in place.

"Rovinj Hospital is opening its doors and for now the rehabilitation centres will be opened. In cooperation with the Istria County Public Health Institute, we tested all our patients prior to their admission and confirmed that they were negative to the virus," the hospital's director, Dr. Marinko Rade told Hina.

The hospital will strictly restrict movement within the hospital and create an exceptionally safe premises for patients and medical staff alike, he underscored.

"We've prepared high preventative standards that everyone has to respect while the Children's Clinic is being opened under a special regime because children have to be our priority at this moment," Rade added.

Anyone who enters the hospital will have to undergo an epidemiological triage and contactless temperature taking. Security will be at a maximum. We are practically working so that the hospital will be the safest place to be in the city, he underlined.

Rade recalled that the Rovinj Hospital "was and remained coronafree," and that fact has made it possible to reopen its doors in such a short time.

The hospital suspended its activities on 28 March due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

New Shipment with 68 Tonnes of Protective Gear Arrives in Croatia

ZAGREB, April 26, 2020 - One more shipment with protective gear arrived from Shanghai at Zagreb Airport on Saturday.

The shipment with protective gear, the fourth such delivery in the last seven days, arrived aboard an SF Airlines cargo plane.

The shipment, consisting of 68 tonnes of disinfectants, gloves, goggles, gowns and protective shoe covers, includes several valuable donations - two mechanic ventilators donated by CIMM Group, protective masks donated by Group Limited, the world's biggest online tourist platform which is responsible for numerous Chinese tourist arrivals in Croatia, and donations by the city of Yancheng to the partner city of Čakovec, by Nanchang to the partner city of Split and by Sanya to Dubrovnik.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Croatia to Start Serology Testing for COVID-19 Next Week

ZAGREB, April 18, 2020 - The head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, said on Friday that the authorities would start conducting a serological survey next week to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 in the country.

Capak told the national broadcaster HTV that the performance of the survey should take 10 to 14 days so as to provide a wider insight in the situation.

Experts at the institute and at Zagreb's hospital for infectious diseases are making preparations for the testing so that they can establish how much serological tests would be reliable.

Serological surveys are often used by epidemiologists to determine the prevalence of a disease in a population. These surveys are sometimes performed at random, anonymous sampling from samples taken for other medical tests or to assess the prevalence of antibodies of a specific organism or protective titre of antibodies in a population.

Capak thinks that yet not enough number of Croatians are immune to this infection to provide for "collective protection" against this novel virus. However, this will change for the better later, according to his explanation.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 17 April 2020

President Supports Initiative to Reactivate Institute of Immunology

ZAGREB, April 17, 2020 - President Zoran Milanović supports the initiative to reactivate the Institute of Immunology in Zagreb in its full capacity, saying that it would enable the development of sustainable production and scientific and research infrastructure, scientist Marina Pavković said on Thursday.

"I support the initiative the realisation of which would enable the development of sustainable production and scientific and research infrastructure in all sectors," Milanović said in a letter, adding that the Institute could be a guarantor of public health safety and care.

He expressed hope that he would be able to contribute to the realisation of the initiative.

Pavković has earlier sent letters to Milanović and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković calling for the reactivation of the Institute of Immunology.

More medicine news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Croatia to Conduct Serological Survey on Asymptomatic Coronavirus Cases

ZAGREB, April 8, 2020 - The head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak said on Wednesday that the institute will perform a serological survey to determine a portion of asymptomatic patients among Croatians infected with coronavirus.

He underlined that it would be a sample survey and it would not be conducted throughout the entire population.

Currently, several possible platforms for the survey are being taken into consideration, he said at a news conference by the national COVID-19 crisis management team.

Serological surveys are often used by epidemiologists to determine the prevalence of a disease in a population. These surveys are sometimes performed at random, anonymous sampling from samples taken for other medical tests or to assess the prevalence of antibodies of a specific organism or protective titre of antibodies in a population.

Capak said that the situation was under control in the Dalmatian town of Knin where there were nine positive cases, including two patients in the local hospital. Due to these developments, 25 health workers in that town have been placed in self-isolation and the hospital is being disinfected.

He said that the situation was also being addressed in the Stubičke Toplice Special Hospital where four patients and two nurses had tested positive for the virus.

The head of Zagreb's Fran Mihaljević Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Alemka Markotić, said that two of the hospital's staff had tested positive for coronavirus, and one of them was a nurse and the other a non-medical worker. Consequently, eight doctors, 39 nurses and 11 non-medical workers have to self-isolate.

There have been 61 new cases of COVID-19 in Croatia in the past 24 hours, 12 persons have recovered and one patient in a Split hospital died due to the infection, Croatia's COVID-19 crisis management team said at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.

The number of COVID-19 positive cases since the start of the outbreak on 25 February has risen to 1,343.

Doctor Maja Grba-Bujević informed that currently there were 359 patients in hospitals, including 36 on ventilators.

Since the outbreak of the infection, 179 Croatians have recovered from the disease.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 20 March 2020

HUBOL: There is Disparity Between Hospitals, Concerns About Equipment

ZAGREB, March 20, 2020 - The Croatian Association of Hospital Physicians (HUBOL) on Friday said that healthcare facilities were unevenly prepared for the coronavirus epidemic, while reports and inquiries from their members indicate that there is a lack of protective and other equipment in hospitals.

HUBOL reiterated that Health Minister Vili Beroš had declared an epidemic, mobilised hospital staff and banned them from going on holiday. These were the first mandatory measures, while most of the previous measures by the national civil protection team had been on the level of recommendations.

Reports and inquiries by HUBOL's members indicate they fear there is a lack of personal protective and other equipment, which puts healthcare workers, patients and the entire healthcare system at risk.

"A great deal of disparity has been noticed between health institutions, regarding the preparations to brace for the epidemic, as well as a lack of local protocols, while some health services made their own protocols based on recommendations by the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), all thanks to extraordinary effort and enthusiasm of individuals."

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

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