Thursday, 23 September 2021

Beroš: Number of Inoculated Health Workers Up

ZAGREB, 23 Sept 2021 -  Health Minister Vili Beroš informed a cabinet meeting on Thursday that the number of health workers who have been inoculated has increased, adding that almost 90% of doctors have been vaccinated against COVID.

"So far nine out of ten doctors in Croatia have been vaccinated. Last week the increase in the number of people inoculated in the healthcare sector was two and a half times greater than the week before that."

"With 68% of health workers inoculated, and those who have obtained immunity after recovering from COVID, and with the introduction of COVID certificates in the healthcare system in October, I expect all processes within the hospital system to function normally," Minister Beroš said.

He said that hospitals were successfully managing the challenges of the fourth wave of the epidemic and gradually increasing their capacities. The Split hospital is under a lot of pressure with a large number of the gravest COVID cases and with only 10% of hospitalized patients being vaccinated.

Croatia has so far administered 3,388,015 doses of vaccines, and 53% of the adult population has been vaccinated, with 49.82% having received both doses.

Waiting lists reduced 31%

Beroš said that waiting lists had been reduced by 31% compared to the pre-pandemic period. This can be attributed to fewer patients coming in for examinations.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović recalled that the national COVID response team had allowed conferences and fairs to be held in closed premises as an important economic activity. That could be expanded if we have a greater number of citizens who have been vaccinated, he said.

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

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Minister Warns Against Manipulation of Facts at Union Protest

ZAGREB, 23 Sept 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Thursday that a union protest of nurses is a legitimate and democratic way of expressing one's position and demanding rights but he noted that there is no room for manipulation of facts.

The introduction of new anti-epidemic measures for employees in medical and social care institutions at the beginning of October has elicited debates in a part of the public, prompting some of the unions representing health sector employees to stage a public protest, said the minister.

"The protest to be held today by the Nurses Union... is a legitimate and democratic way to express one's positions and demands regarding certain outstanding issues and I support it as such," Beroš said in a statement when asked by the media to comment on the protest to be held in downtown Zagreb.

He added that what he did not have understanding for was the purposeful manipulation of facts regarding the announced introduction of new epidemiological rules in medical institutions, notably those that treat patients, who are the most vulnerable group in terms of possible infection with coronavirus and its consequences.

"As Health Minister, it is my obligation to take all necessary measures to prevent the infection from entering and spreading in the health sector, notably hospitals," he said.

COVID-19 certificates will be required for employees in the health and social care systems as of 1 October.

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

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Beroš: Of 117 COVID Patients Put On Ventilators Lately, 110 Unvaccinated

ZAGREB, 2 Sept 2021 - In the last 10 weeks, there have been 117 COVID-19 patients on ventilators, and 110 of them were not vaccinated against this infection, Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Thursday.

In the last 24 hours, 9,989 coronavirus tests have been performed and 8% or 798 have turned out to be positive; 11 COVID patients have died, bringing the COVID-19-related death toll to 8,349, the national coronavirus crisis management team stated on Thursday morning.

Currently, there are 3,943 active cases, and of them, 440 are receiving hospital treatment, including 53 who are on ventilators.

In the week from 23 to 30 August, 4,140 people tested positive for the virus, and 86.16% of them had not been vaccinated.

Hospitals are increasing their capacity for COVID patients in line with epidemiological developments, he said.

The minister informed the government that the average age of hospitalized patients in the fourth wave of the pandemic was lower than in the third wave. The share of children in hospitalized COVID patients has tripled, he noted.

More than 8 in 10 doctors, 6 in 10 nurses vaccinated

Since the start of its vaccine rollout, Croatia has administered nearly 3.3 million vaccines, and 42.64% of the population, or 51.22% of adult citizens, have been vaccinated.

Until 30 August, 83.17% of doctors and 60.84% of nurses and medical technicians got vaccinated.

Broken down by age cohort, the share of persons above 65 who have received at least one shot is 69.5% and 65.8% of them have fully been immunized.

Treatment of COVID-19 and sick leave have cost HRK 2.7 billion 

A day of hospital treatment of a COVID patient costs HRK 11,000 and the average duration of hospitalization is 20 days. Hospitalization and sick leave for COVID patients have cost the state HRK 2.7 billion so far, which is equivalent to half the value of Pelješac Bridge, Beroš said.

He warned that if the trend of unvaccinated people catching the virus continued, one could expect a further rise in hospitalizations and new mutations.

(€1 = HRK 7.5) 

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Minister to Send Inspection to Hospital to Investigate Allegations of Corruption

ZAGREB, 20 May 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Thursday that he would send an inspection to Zagreb's Sisters of Charity Hospital, noting that there was zero tolerance for corruption and possible use of hospital funds for private interests and supporting efforts to uncover possible unlawful actions.

"I have been informed of the personnel changes at the KBC Sisters of Charity. I am not happy with what is going on in that institution, but I am determined to have potential irregularities investigated for the sake of all employees and protection of patients' interests," the minister said after earlier in the day, the incumbent head of the hospital's radiology department, Dijana Zadravec, who claims that hospital funds are used for private interests and that corruption and crime are being covered up, was replaced.

Beroš said that he would send a team of inspectors from the Health Ministry to the hospital and also ask the Croatian Health Insurance Fund to launch an investigation and that he expected the Finance Ministry to join in with the aim of thoroughly investigating the hospital's operations.

The acting director of the hospital, Zoran Vatavuk, replaced Zadravec over poor interpersonal relations that had resulted in a large number of radiologists leaving the hospital.

Zadravec said that her replacement was unlawful and accused Vatavuk of obstructing her attempts to improve work at the radiology department.

She also said that Vatavuk was covering up crime and corruption at the hospital which she had reported to the competent institutions.

Zadravec said that she was in conflict with "the heads of hospital departments who own private hospitals and work to the benefit of those hospitals while using the resources of the public health system."

In a comment on Zadravec's allegations, Vatavuk said that he strongly supported her efforts to have possible irregularities at the hospital punished and noted that the latest report by an internal audit requested by his predecessor had revealed no irregularities in the hospital's operations.

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

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Health Minister Vili Beroš: "Drug Suppliers Clearly Told Gov't Wants to Settle Debt Problem"

ZAGREB, 6 April, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Tuesday that today's meeting with drug wholesalers was a clear sign that the government wanted to solve the debt problem, while Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said additional payments might be made so that drug supply ran smoothly.

"Today's meeting is a clear signal that we wish to solve this problem through joint effort. The meeting was constructive and Minister Marić left open the possibility of additional funds to make sure that drug wholesalers supply the health system regularly," Beroš told the press, reiterating that increasing health contributions was not being considered.

The meeting focused on short-term solutions and the debt repayment schedule, but the government is discussing healthcare reforms that will lead to long-term solutions, Beroš said.

"We presented to drug wholesalers our determination to embark on reforms and our willingness to settle the debt," he said, but added that the Croatian Health Insurance Fund had to redirect HRK 2.5 billion for the treatment of COVID-19 patients instead of regular healthcare.

"This government will do everything so that not one citizen remains without the medicines they need. Last week we found a way through direct payment for medicines necessary for life-threatening conditions, including for cancer patients."

The HRK 900 million ensured for drug wholesalers last week is part of the search for a solution, Beroš said.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

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

Monday, 5 April 2021

Procedure Launched to Donate Deceased Child's Organs, Minister Offers Condolences

ZAGREB, 5 April, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš confirmed on Sunday evening that the procedure had been launched to donate the organs of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl from Nova Gradiška, who died on Sunday in a Zagreb hospital of injuries inflicted by her mother, expressing condolences to all who loved her.

"I express my condolences and great sadness over the death of the little girl. Despite all the treatments undertaken and doctors' exceptional efforts, her condition deteriorated critically and brain death was confirmed," Beroš said.

He extended condolences to the child's foster family and others who loved her and did their best for her to find a safe place to live.

"Unfortunately, she did not live to see that happen and the worst possible thing happened, for which those responsible should answer," said the minister.

The child, who died due to injuries inflicted by her mother, was in a foster family for over a year, but was returned to her parents at their request.

The parents, who have three other children, have been remanded in custody.

The mother is charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm resulting in the child's death, while the father is charged with violating the child's rights and neglecting and abusing all four of their children.

Earlier in the day, Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy Minister Josip Aladrović offered condolences on the little girl's death. "May she rest in peace. May it never happen again!" he said in a Twitter post.

Citizens, who earlier on Sunday were leaving messages of support for the child outside the Zagreb hospital for children's diseases, gathered in the evening to light candles after the news broke that she had died.

 

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Andrej Plenković (PM), Gordan Jandroković (MP) and Vili Beroš (Health Minister) Get Vaccinated with AstraZeneca

ZAGREB, 24 March, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and Health Minister Vili Beroš were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine at Government House on Tuesday, and Beroš said that they had sent a message of confidence in medical science and the medical profession.

"Today we have sent a strong message of confidence in medical science, the medical profession, primarily because we were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. We will continue to work diligently on vaccinating Croatian citizens so that they could continue living and working with as little risk of infection as possible. Every vaccinated individual contributes to the protection of the population and is definitely a step towards our old normal, and a step closer to a successful tourist season," Beroš told reporters after the vaccination.

He added that there were still many challenges ahead and that it was important to think about future challenges such as new variants of the virus.

"I believe that with this message we have encouraged citizens to follow us on that path, to curb the epidemic and return to our normal life," Beroš said.

For more about COVID-19 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.

Friday, 18 December 2020

Beros: Acquiring Immunity Doesn't Mean That One is Not Infectious to Others

ZAGREB, Dec 18, 2020 - Health Minister Vili Beros on Friday warned that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and people without symptoms can still infect others with coronavirus, underscoring that only vaccination can result in collective immunity. 

"It is important to know that people who have recovered from COVID can still infect other," Beros told a press conference by the national COVID response team when asked how people should act after recovery.

He explained that people who have recovered from COVID obtain immunity which means that they will probably not be ill in the coming period however that does not mean that they won't infect someone else.

"We have to think of others. Wearing masks is of essential importance as is vaccination. In order to obtain herd immunity we have to consider vaccination and protect not just oursevles but others too. Only by our concerted action, can we prevent the spread of this virus and epidemic," he explained.

He underscored the importance of tightening epidemiological measures ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays because of asymptomatic people.

"A certain portion of people who are infected are asymptomatic. They do not know that and they will visit their families, socialise with elderly members and transfer the virus," Beros said, explaining the reason to ban movement during the holidays.

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