Monday, 4 April 2022

Tourism Ministry Earmarks €200K to Co-Fund More Medical Teams on Adriatic coast

4 April 2022 - Croatia's ministry of tourism and sport will earmark HRK 1.5 million to co-fund the hiring of additional medical teams in tourist destinations in the seven Adriatic counties to raise the level of healthcare services during the summer season.

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac was quoted as saying in a press release that the ministry co-finances medial teams, as well as the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service and the Red Cross, and also cooperates with the interior ministry in the "Safe Tourist Destination" project.

The project of making financial contributions to the hiring of additional medical teams was launched in 2008 and since then HRK 23.4 million (€3.12 million) has been earmarked for that purpose.

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Man from Istria Donates Life Savings to Croatian Health Clinics

February 9th, 2022 - Milan Grozić, an 80 year old man from Istria, donated over 400,000 kuna of his life savings to several health clinics in Croatia

Milan Grozić, an economist from Istria who has been retired for 15 years, made several sizable donations to multiple medical facilities, reports Glas Istre/Gordana Čalić Šverko.

He first donated 200,000 kuna to Istrian Health Centres. Half of the amount is intended for the purchase of an ultrasound machine for a GP clinic in Lupoglav, and the remaining 100,000 kuna for the Pazin clinic for palliative care and a medical-chemical laboratory.

A few days later, Grozić donated another 200,000 kuna, this time to Thalassotherapy Opatija, a specialised hospital for rehabilitation of cardiac patients, rheumatology and physical therapy.

‘Seeing that it’s constantly mentioned, especially in the media on a daily basis, that most people die from heart diseases, and it truly is so, with Opatija being close to citizens [of Istria] who use the services of Thalassotherapy as a cardiology clinic, I decided to make a donation to them as well’, said Grozić.

How come he decided to make such a sizable donation to health clinics in the first place?

‘Healthcare is a field important to society, same as the economy, education, science, social welfare, sports, culture… the state cannot function without them. I claim that healthcare is a top priority, as our minister says: "health isn’t everything, but without health, all is nothing". The healthcare system has difficulties even without corona, and in recent years since the coronavirus appeared, the financial situation has been even more difficult and there are a lot of problems. Finally, health is a top priority for all generations, from young to old, everyone uses health services, everyone needs them’, he explained.

Grozić was born in Vranja, a village in the foothills of Učka mountain. He finished high school in Pula and graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Rijeka; he first worked in the trading company Brodomaterijal in Rijeka for a year and a half, then went on to spend 38.5 years working for the Slovenian insurance company Sava Osiguranje, later renamed to Triglav Osiguranje. He held managerial positions for sixteen years, first as the head of the Rijeka branch, then as the president and member of the board. He says he was able to save a lot from his stable income. He built a house in Matulji near Rijeka, then sold it and restored an old home in Vranja where he currently lives.

‘After I retired, I spent a few more years in Matulji, and then came to a conclusion that life is better in the countryside because the coast is too crowded, there are always big traffic jams. I renovated and furnished a house in Vranja, remodelled a farm building into a holiday home, and built a ranch near the village. My brother lives in America, in Los Angeles, and my sister in Rabac. My other sister passed away recently in Pula, preceded by one brother. I have six nephews, they have twelve children in total, and they’re all doing fine, more or less. I also gifted something to those children, equally to everyone, and then I decided to donate part of my savings to a health institution’, he said in another interview for Glas Istre.

The benefactor only wants everyone to know that his savings came from hard work and work alone. He hasn’t inherited anything nor was he given any of the money he is now donating for a noble cause.

‘What does money mean to me. Nothing. I have everything I want, a car, a ranch, I can go to America whenever I want. They keep inviting me, but I’m afraid of flying, even though I travelled a lot by plane in my day’, says Grozić.

Accompanied by his golden retriever Fido, Grozić currently resides at his ranch in Vranje where he tends to an orchard and a vegetable garden. ‘I can't help but do something all the time’, he says.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Health Professionals Who Work With COVID Patients to Receive Bonus

ZAGREB, 16 January, 2021 - All healthcare professionals who work with COVID-19 patients will receive a just bonus in line with the government's decision, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry requested from all hospital directors a report on the implementation of the decision and Minister Vili Beroš said all must be justly paid for their work.

The ministry recalled that the government decided on 7 December that healthcare professionals who work with COVID-19 patients should receive a bonus amounting to 10% of the base pay.

The ministry also recalled that the base pay depended on the job complexity index and that this impacted the amount of said bonus.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Health Minister for Reorganising, Adapting to New Circumstances After Quake

ZAGREB, 2 January, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beros said on Saturday the ministry's task was to reorganise healthcare in the wider area hit by Tuesday's devastating earthquake, adding that it was necessary to adjust to the new circumstances and transfer patients to hospitals in Zagreb to "receive the adequate assistance."

Speaking to the press while visiting the Sisak General Hospital, which sustained extensive damage, Beros thanked its staff for receiving 32 patients and conducting over 90 checkups since the tremor.

Petrinja hospital temporarily unusable

The minister said "unfortunately... the building of the hospital in Petrinja is temporarily unusable and can't be made functional quickly in any way."

He said enough rapid antigen tests for coronavirus had arrived in the quake-struck area. "Over 1,500 vaccine doses have been ensured. Given that new doses are arriving on a weekly basis, it's certain that we will adapt to the new conditions and that as many doses as necessary will be reallocated for this county."

Beros said he did not expect everyone there to be vaccinated but that he would appeal that as many people as possible did to prevent the epidemic from spreading. He added that it took three to four weeks to acquire immunity, underlining the importance of vaccinating people as soon as possible.

Emergency medical aid containers set up

The minister said containers for emergency medical aid were set up in Petrinja because the local hospital was demolished.

"We are adapting to the circumstances. The ministry has instructed all health centres and family doctors to adapt to the new circumstances," he said, adding that medicines would be delivered to people with chronic diseases who lost their homes.

The director of the Petrinja hospital, Tomislav Dujmenovic, asked the contractors building a new hospital building to resume their work as soon as possible, saying the new building would solve all their problems.

Friday, 20 November 2020

"We Can Stop Healthcare System Collapse, But We're Not Wanted Even During Pandemic"

November 20, 2020 - Petra has been waiting for her internship for a year now. She often meets Maja at the employment Bureau, who has been hoping for an internship for two years. Besides her, Petra sees hundreds of other colleagues who were once just like her, the best students of their generations. Despite the endless stories about there being a shortage of medical staff, these same healthcare workers are not being seen as essential to start work, even during the pandemic.

After graduating, they are required to complete a one-year internship, after which they receive a license with which they can be employed. It all seems fine, but internship places hardly open up, and when they do, they lack or some other set up has already been previously arranged.

"The internship can be cancelled," says Petra B., a medical laboratory diagnostician. "As it's a professional study, as part of the study, we're obliged to do a professional internship, that's over 500 hours in different types of laboratories." As such, during school alone, they get acquainted with the job and gain experience working in the laboratory.

Some of the bachelors in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, medical laboratory diagnostics, radiological technology, or sanitary engineering wait for an internship for up to two years, which means they have spent that period browsing on hospital and employment Bureau websites, just waiting for a vacancy. After graduation, many of them exercise their student rights and work for three months in shops, cafes, restaurants, and other places unrelated to their profession. When those three months pass, they're simply sentenced to sit and twiddle their thumbs at home. To get the right to an internship, they mustn't be employed outside of their profession, and it is mandatory to register yourself on the Croatian Employment Service's (CES) unemployment register.

The problem with internships is not only in regard to gaining experience, but that it isn't even possible - it's obligatory to do it, but hospitals aren't obliged to announce a tender and hire an intern. That is, no one guarantees them a time period in which they must wait, and when they can get started with work; months and even years can pass, leading to yet another burning problem - labour shortages.

Not everyone agrees with the abolition of internships, despite the many issues with it. Bachelor of Radiological Technology, Ana K., with all the hours of professional practice she now has under her belt, doesn't feel ready to enter the labour market with such responsibility. She believes that internships are a good experience and an excellent opportunity to learn and improve one's knowledge and skills.

"But, if it's obligatory, then it should be ensured that every person who finishes school automatically gets a place in a hospital and does that internship, and not just do it as it is done now - there are too few places for the number of graduates," says Ana. K., who, as an alternative, proposes shortening the length of service to give as many healthcare professionals as possible the opportunity.

The problem of obtaining an internship has existed for many years in Croatia. Still, as the demand for healthcare workers increases during the pandemic and even retirees are being called upon, bachelors are also waiting for a call, but it hasn't yet arrived. On the contrary, this year, the internship measure was completely suspended until the autumn when the quotas for healthcare professionals were adopted. The total quota for healthcare professionals is 170 employees, including 99 employees in hospitals, 50 employees in health centres, and 21 employees in the Institute of Public Health.

The CES recorded 1277 new unemployed people in the healthcare sector this year. If we take into account that the Medical Polytechnic in Zagreb alone enrolls about seven hundred students every year, it means that a similar number of them are waiting for an internship every single year, in addition to those who graduated in previous years and still haven't received an internship. In addition to Zagreb, health studies also exist in Varazdin, Osijek, Rijeka, Split, Bjelovar and Karlovac.

Physiotherapist Maja B., who has been waiting for her internship for two years now, is especially saddened that her profession is not considered useful even during the time of the pandemic. However, this situation prompted them to raise their voices so that the Ministry of Health could hear them.

"After numerous appearances in the media, interviews and sending letters to the Ministry, they finally remembered us and started with their 'mobilisation' and invited us to work in the Zagreb Arena, which is open as an additional capacity to receive those who are unwell,'' says Maja, who thinks it would be great if that work was recognised as an internship, regardless of its duration. "We help the state, save the healthcare system from collapsing, the state saves on salaries because they'd pay us for maybe 3-4 months, not for a year, and we'd be recognised for our experience much earlier than we would normally. It would be good for us, and also good for them,'' concludes Maja, although she is aware of the fact that this is difficult to achieve.

Although the Republic of Croatia is a member of the European Union, it hasn't abolished internships after college like other member states have. As a reminder, students have to do over 500 hours of practical work during their studies - not only at the faculty but also throughout hospital wards, nursing homes, laboratories, and in various other conditions. However, there is no internship for doctors of medicine and bachelors of nursing in the Republic of Croatia. The study of nursing is part of the Medical Polytechnic of Zagreb, as well as the previously listed fields that are required to complete an internship and earn a license. They are exempted from the internship due to their fifth year of high school, during which they acquire the necessary practical knowledge to start working.

Dissatisfied that the internship as an obligation was not secured, they launched a petition to cancel the internship, which has so far collected over 5,000 signatures. In addition to bachelors, the petition seeks to include scholars who have completed their education and are waiting to be registered at the CES, as well as the upcoming generations of students who have yet to complete their education.

When Petra's friends heard that she had enrolled in the field of healthcare, the reaction was more or less the same: "Good for you, you'll at least have a job." That was one of the reasons for her enrollment in this faculty. The same is true for most of her colleagues. "However, I didn't think that we still wouldn't be desirable even during a pandemic,'' concludes Petra B.

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Wednesday, 26 September 2018

PBZ Donations Help Čakovec County Hospital Continue Praiseworthy Mission

With this project, PBZ Group collected more than 14 million kuna and realised 36 donations.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Alcohol and Tobacco Prices Have Risen by More Than 100% in Last 20 Years

While the price of alcohol and cigarettes have shot up, costs relating to the healthcare service have increased alongside them.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Production of Teeth From Zirconium and Titanium in Zagreb Returns Smiles to Patients

Owing to top care and lower prices, Croatia is quickly finding its place as a popular dental and medical tourism destination.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Belgian Company to Build Care Home for Alzheimer's Patients in Duga Resa

Lindbergh Care Group from Belgium is planning to build a care home in Karlovac County

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Specialty Hospital Medico Opens Branch in Pula

One of the best known private health care institutions in Croatia opened their first facility in Istria