Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Croatia Won't Close Borders over Coronavirus Until Decision Is Made at European Level

ZAGREB, February 5, 2020 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Tuesday that Croatia would not close its borders over the novel coronavirus as long as there was no such agreement at the European level.

"We are not going to ban people from entering Croatia, but we are going to ask them who they are, where they come from and whether they have any symptoms of the disease," Beroš told a news conference, adding that the Croatian authorities would act in accordance with professional standards for the prevention of an outbreak of this communicable disease.

He also noted that currently there were 27 cases of the coronavirus in Europe, and added that the death rate was about three percent. "This is an even lower rate than in flu cases," he said and called for caution because this was a new type of virus.

Later on Tuesday, it was reported that two young men, who had recently been to Shanghai and had been hospitalised in the eastern town of Vinkovci as one of them had a high body temperature and the other respiratory problems, had not contracted the coronavirus. All the tests were negative in their case.

DAILY UPDATES: Total Croatia News provides LIVE daily updates on the coronavirus epidemic here.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Nurses Association Calls for Stopping Outflow of Medical Staff

ZAGREB, February 4, 2020 - Several nurses' associations on Tuesday warned that over the past six years close to 2,500 nurses had applied for certificates for their qualifications so they can go and work abroad, calling on the competent institutions to curb the outflow of medical staff.

For more than five years the health administration has been ignoring the problems of the nursing profession and it has not done anything to improve the status of nurses, the associations said, calling on the government and the newly appointed health minister to urgently start dealing with the problems burdening the nursing profession.

They called for recognising nurses' university qualifications by amending the regulation on job titles and job complexity indices in public services as well as for more concrete measures to deal with the labour shortage.

They said that currently 41,332 nurses have licences, of whom 26% are nurses with a university or college degree while 4% also have a postgraduate degree.

Speaking of the problems burdening the nursing profession, the associations cited the lack of nurses, low wages, frequently inappropriate working conditions and an excessive workload.

They called for amending the Nurses Act, adopting a strategy for the development of the nursing profession for the period until 2030, aligning the classification of jobs in medical institutions with the existing regulations, and defining the right to an accelerated retirement plan for nurses.

More healthcare sector news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Zagreb Ambulance Service Staff to Go on Strike on Wednesday

ZAGREB, February 3, 2020 - Ambulance crews in the capital city of Zagreb will go on strike on Wednesday demanding a pay rise so that their monthly wages are equated with those of emergency medical services.

The ambulance service in the capital city has 42 crews with 120 drivers and paramedics, and as of Wednesday, only a dozen crews will be on duty and the ambulance service will continue working with that reduce number crews until their demands are met.

The trade union of ambulance staff said that the pay rise would require an additional two million kuna to be set aside annually for their monthly wages.

The unionists said that the pay gap between wages of emergency ambulance crews in the city and their counterparts in emergency medical services is 2,000 kuna (270 euro).

More Zagreb news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 31 January 2020

No Cases of Coronavirus Infection in Croatia, 14 Cases Identified in EU

ZAGREB, January 31, 2020 - Considering the increased interest by the public and media the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) has said that currently there are no cases of infection with the novel coronavirus in Croatia and that 14 cases have been discovered in the European Union.

DAILY UPDATES: Total Croatia News provides LIVE daily updates on the coronavirus epidemic here.

Around the world 9,834 people have been diagnosed with the illness and 213 have died so far, HZJZ said on its web site.

The virus has been identified in Germany, France, Finland and Italy.

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) International Health Regulations Emergency Committee met on Thursday and recommended that coronavirus be declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) to enable an internationally coordinated response to the epidemic in accordance with WHO recommendations and additional international mobilisation of finances and human resources.

The Committee still does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions based on the current information.

The Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry is arranging transport to evacuate Croatian citizens currently located in Wuhan, China, HZJZ said.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

DAILY UPDATES: Total Croatia News provides LIVE daily updates on the coronavirus epidemic here.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Croatians in Wuhan to Be Evacuated and Quarantined

ZAGREB, January 30, 2020 - The four Croatians who are staying in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus was first detected, will be evacuated soon, the Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry stated in a press release on Thursday.

DAILY UPDATES: Total Croatia News provides LIVE daily updates on the coronavirus epidemic here.

The departure of the four Croatians from Wuhan is being organised by the Croatian foreign and health ministries in cooperation with European partners within the Council of European Union crisis response mechanism.

As soon as they arrive in Europe, the four Croatians will be quarantined, but the press release does not specify the location of their quarantine. It also does not give the exact date of the evacuation or how they will be transported from China to Europe.

So far, there have been 170 deaths related to this virus, and 7,700 people have been diagnosed with this communicable disease.

Apart from China, cases of coronavirus infection have been reported in Australia, Vietnam, Germany, Italy, France, Cambodia, Malaysia, Nepal, South Korea, Singapore, the USA, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Japan.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

DAILY UPDATES: Total Croatia News provides LIVE daily updates on the coronavirus epidemic here.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Croatian Citizens in Wuhan Offered Evacuation

ZAGREB, January 29, 2020 - Croatian citizens wanting to leave the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic, have been offered evacuation organised by partners from the European Union, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs stated on Tuesday.

The Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Beijing is in constant contact with local Chinese authorities and European partners, as well as with the four Croatian citizens who are in Wuhan, the ministry told HINA on Tuesday.

"Croatian citizens wanting to leave Wuhan have been offered evacuation in the organisation of EU partners, and we have stayed in contact on that matter," the ministry says.

They add from the ministry that the Croatian Embassy in Beijing continues to inform Croatian citizens in Wuhan on all measures and options for leaving the city and that the embassy will be at their disposal to ensure their return home goes well.

Given the increasing number of countries planning to evacuate their nationals from Wuhan, the ministry answered the question whether such a solution had been offered to Croatian nationals.

The embassy in Beijing is in contact with other Croatian citizens in the People's Republic of China and is available to them for any kind of consular assistance and support, the ministry adds.

The coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, a city of 11 million inhabitants in central China, and has spread throughout the province, which has become a sort of a quarantine.

None of the 106 deaths occurred outside of China, and all but six occurred in Wuhan, where the virus appeared last month.

Numerous countries started evacuating their nationals who will spend 14 days in quarantine upon returning home.

The total number of patients diagnosed with this infection in China has grown from 2,835 on Monday to 4,515 on Tuesday, the National Health Commission said.

The deadly novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV, which appeared in China, will infect at least tens of thousands of people and the outbreak will carry on for several months, experts estimated on Tuesday based on the first available data.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 27 January 2020

WHO: No Reason in Croatia to Panic about Coronavirus

ZAGREB, January 27, 2020 - The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Office in Croatia, Antoinette Kaić-Rak, said on Sunday evening that there was no reason to spread panic in Croatia following the latest developments surrounding the outbreak of coronavirus in China.

DAILY UPDATES: Total Croatia News provides LIVE daily updates on the coronavirus epidemic here.

"I do not think that we should panic. The WHO's expert committee for emergency situations has not yet decided to declare this public healthcare crisis an international problem," Kaić-Rak told the national television (HTV) on Sunday evening.

She called for taking precautions.

"It is most important that the country's public healthcare system is prepared and that people are informed," she said, commenting on the situation in Croatia. Croatia's Health Ministry is expected to outlines measures for prevention of an outbreak of coronavirus in the country on Monday.

As for China, the WHO Committee that held a meeting a few days ago, welcomed the efforts made by that country to investigate and contain the current outbreak.

So far, 1,320 patients have been diagnosed with contracting this novel virus. The lion's share of them are in China, and also 23 cases have been reported to date in nine other countries. Also, 41 deaths have been confirmed in connection with that virus, and most of those victims were elderly people or people who also suffered from some other chronic health problems, said Kaić-Rak.

Four Croatian citizens are currently in the Chinese city of Wuhan where the novel coronavirus was first detected, the Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry stated on Saturday, recommending delaying travel to that part of China.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

DAILY UPDATES: Total Croatia News provides LIVE daily updates on the coronavirus epidemic here.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Mimosa Day Marked in Zagreb

ZAGREB, January 25, 2020 - The national day for prevention of cervical cancer, known as Mimosa Day, was marked in Zagreb's Cvjetni Trg square on Saturday with a traditional charity sale of branches of mimosa flowers.

The event, organised for the 13th year in a row to raise public awareness of the importance of cervical cancer prevention, was attended by Mayor Milan Bandić, who called on women to undergo regular medical check-ups and get vaccinated against the HPV virus.

The secretary-general of the Croatian Anti-Cancer League, Neda Ferenčić Vrban, called on parents to have their children, both girls and boys, vaccinated against HPV in eighth grade, as recommended by the national HPV vaccination programme.

Cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) in 99.7 percent of cases. Since there is no effective cure against HPV, regular medical examinations are important to detect HPV infection as early as possible. The cervix is one of the most frequent cancer sites in women aged 20-49, and the most critical period for infection is adolescence.

About 300 women in Croatia are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and every third day one woman dies from it, the event was told.

Mimosa Day is organised by the Croatian Anti-Cancer League and the City of Zagreb Office for Health.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Around 200,000 People in Croatia Suffer from Depression

ZAGREB, January 21, 2020 - The Croatian non-profit association called "Životna linija" (Lifeline) on Monday marked Blue Monday, a day believed to be the most depressing day of the year, to warn that around 200,000 people in Croatia suffer from depression and are more at risk of suicide than the rest of the population.

The members of the association distributed chocolates and leaflets in Zagreb's central Ban Josip Jelačić Square under the slogan "Let's make the most depressing day of the year better." The leaflets warn that on average two people commit suicide in Croatia every day, which is around 700 people per year.

The president of the association, Tin Pongrac, pointed out that people suffering from depression were largely at risk of suicide. "Sometimes even just one kind word can mean the difference between life and death," he said.

According to World Health Organisation estimates, around 200,000 people suffer from depression in Croatia, but Pongrac thinks this is a conservative estimate. He thinks that as many as half a million people suffer from some form of depression.

Underscoring that depression is the second most serious problem in the Croatian public healthcare sector, he called on institutions to address the issue, which is becoming an increasingly great burden on the national health system.

He added that depression could be treated successfully. His association advocates a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy. "The system prescribes antidepressants, but it should also provide patients with psychotherapy," he said.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Patients Do Not Have Equal Opportunity for Lung Cancer Screening

ZAGREB, January 17, 2020 - The Dignitatis association of patients on Friday welcomed the National Lung Cancer Early Detection Programme, saying however that the programme was discriminatory because not all patients had equal access to the programme as only certain hospitals possess the necessary LDCT screening equipment.

"When the programme was being planned it should have taken account that all counties need that equipment as the majority of patients who would perhaps decide to participate in the programme will not be in a position to do so because of the distance and costs involved," Dignitatis said in a press release.

"We condemn this discrimination against patients in Croatia and ask that before the programme is implemented that the Health Ministry secured the necessary apparatus in all county centres for the programme to be able to be implemented in a quality way and be accessible to all patients," Marina Novaković Matanić of Dignitatis said.

The KoHOM association of family doctors on Thursday warned that conditions had not been established to implemented the screening programme.

With the announcement that the first screens could start as of Friday has put family doctors in an awkward situation because they have to explain to patients that the programme is not ready yet.

We welcome the national programme, which we helped prepare. We are prepared for cooperation in implementing it however the programme has not come to life nor will it tomorrow either as announced in the media, KoHOM said on Thursday in a press release.

KoHOM has asked that patients for their understanding and to approach the Croatian Health Insurance Institute and Health Ministry for any further information.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

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