Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Hero Croatian Hospital Does Free Dentistry for All Special Needs Children

Wednesday, 9 September 2020 – Angels in white from heroic Croatian hospital Dr. fra Mato Nikolić in Nova Bila offer free dentistry for all special needs children

Few young people look forward to visiting the dentist. But, imagine how such a visit must be if the world is already a confusing and difficult place for you. These are the difficulties of dentistry for all special needs children.

“Children with special needs suffer from a range of disorders,” Dr. Nikola Matković tells TCN over the phone from Croatian hospital Dr fra Mato Nikolić in Nova Bila, near Vitez, central Bosnia. “They can have stunted mental development, autism, Down's syndrome, disharmonic development, epilepsy, cerebral palsy. They all need to put under general anesthetic for dentistry and, of course, that requires a specially trained anesthetist to be present throughout, as well as the surgeon dentist and several members of staff. It can be necessary to have between six and ten highly skilled medical professionals in the operation, depending on the case. And, of course, that's very expensive. The parents of many children simply don't have that kind of money.”

Croatian hospital Dr. fra Mato Nikolić in Nova Bila, which answered the call for free dentistry for all special needs children

A doctor of dentistry, Nikola Matković became acutely aware of the financial difficulties for many such parents in 2016, when NGO Betanija from Vitez put out a call for help. His main job is there, in the local health centre. They help provide care for about 50 special needs clients in the region. Responding to the call, Dr. Matković approached colleagues to see if they'd be interested in trying to help give free dentistry for all special needs children.

Dentist Lidija Lasić-Arapović and anaesthesiologist Zoran Karlović, both from Mostar, were quick to offer their assistance. They were followed by dentists Dr. Anja Hačimić, Dr. Ivana Dunđer-Vidović, Dr. Nikola Kezić, Dr. Ozrenka Raić from central Bosnia and assistants Slavica Šimić and Anita Martinović from Mostar. All agreed to join Dr. Matković in his attempt to offer free dentistry for all special needs children in their region.

The team of Croatian hospital Dr. fra Mato Nikolić doctors at work, supplying free dentistry for all special needs children

Dr. Matković needed the approval of the Ministry of Health and of Central Bosnia Canton and authorities at the Croatian hospital Dr fra Mato Nikolić, lead by director Dr. Velimir Valjan, in order to begin the programme. Both quickly agreed that it was needed and agreed to contribute funding to help establish it. The programme of free dentistry for all special needs children in the Central Bosnia Canton region started in late 2018. But, that was just the beginning.

“We soon started getting calls from parents of special needs children from outside the region,” remembers Dr Matković. “And from full-time carers of adults who also have special needs. We soon realised we could not just leave them with nowhere to turn. We again approached the authorities and asked for permission to widen the programme and they were incredibly supportive. We've so far had around 120 clients, between the ages of six and thirty-five. And they've travelled here for treatment from every corner of Bosnia.”

Croatian hospital Dr. fra Mato Nikolić. Welcoming all ethnicities and people of all religions, it gives free dentistry for all special needs children

For an outsider – such as this writer – if can be baffling to try and understand how Bosnia and Hercegovina works. The country is populated by the same people, although they've been separated for hundreds of years by three competing religions. This separation led to ethnic tensions rising during the break up of Yugoslavia, leading to Bosnia now being split up into several internal cantons under one federation, another autonomous state - Republika Srpska - plus the self-governing district of Brčko.

“This question may be stupid, but is healthcare the same in Bosnia as it is in Croatia?” asks this British member of the TCN team, rather naively. “Do you have the same option of health insurance to all the people who live there, no matter where they live? And, you're called Croatian hospital Dr fra Mato Nikolić. Does that mean that you treat only Croats? Do Muslims and Serbs have their own separate hospitals?”

Dr Nikola Matković

“Ahahaha, it's not such a stupid question really,” laughs Dr Matković. “Bosnia can be a confusing place. Well, the answer to your first question is no. It's not the same as in Croatia, it's a lot more complicated because there's a completely separate system for those who live in Republika Srpska. But, I'm pleased to say that we have overcome all the bureaucracy and difficulties to be able to treat patients from every part of Bosnia, including Republika Srpska. The NGO Betanija who set the ball rolling is a multi-ethnic organisation. They welcome people of every ethnicity and religion. So do the Croatian hospital Dr fra Mato Nikolić and this programme within it. Our hospital is called Croatian hospital because it was set up with great financial assistance from the Croatian government.”

The parish church of the Holy Spirit in Nova Bila became the only medical resource for some 70, 000 trapped people during the war. Around half of them were refugees.

Croatian hospital Dr fra Mato Nikolić is named after a prominent Bosnian Franciscan, humanist and the first graduate doctor from Bosnia and Herzegovina - Fr. Mato Nikolić (1776-1844). It is a hospital known throughout Bosnia and Croatia because of the heroic work undertaken there by staff and volunteers during the time of war.

The church hospital in the time of war

In 1992, violent fighting caused a huge wave of forced migrations all across Bosnia. In the area where the hospital is now situated, the population almost doubled with the arrival of refugees. Some 70,000 people found themselves in an area 30 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide. They were cut off from the rest of the world by the lines of fighting and by blockades. No hospital existed within the area, just the parish church of the Holy Spirit in Nova Bila. From there, a few healthcare professionals worked day and night, with almost no supplies, to treat the sick and wounded. So cut off was this group of people that they faced famine. The absence of any medical supplies was secondary to the very real threat of starvation.

Staff of the war hospital Fr. Mato Nikolić pictured in 1993

War hospitals set up to try and deal with the trapped people proved ineffective, as the lines of fighting were constantly shifting. But, at the end of 1992, it was decided that the church in Nova Bila would be established as the main hospital for all those within the four municipalities of Travnik, Novi Travnik, Vitez and Busovača in the Lašva Valley. This war hospital took the name Fr. Mato Nikolić.

Despite having no regular supplies of electricity or even water, between 19 October 1992 to 1 April 1994, over 20, 000 people were treated and cared for in the hospital. 1,260 operations were performed under general anesthesia, 4,200 under local anesthesia. 721 children were born.

Despite having no regular supplies of electricity or even water, between October 1992 to April 1994, over 20, 000 people were treated and cared for in the hospital. 1,260 operations were performed under general anesthesia.

In June 1994, the President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tuđman, visited the Lašva Valley and promised to build a new hospital. The new Croatian hospital Dr. fra Mato Nikolić was opened in 1999. Its pioneering programme to offer free dentistry for all special needs children from across Bosnia is just the latest commendable action undertaken by those associated with this hero hospital.

How the new Croatian hospital Dr. fra Mato Nikolić looked a few years ago, as its sixth wing was being constructed

All colour photographs © Croatian hospital Dr. fra Mato Nikolić, Dr Nikola Matković and municipality of Vitez
All black and white photographs © Bijeli Put documentary, original sources Davor Višnjić, Željko Maganjić, Srećko Stipović, Arhiv konvoja Bijeli put, Arhiv Kruh svetog Ante, Foto klub Split

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Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Finmin Says Healthcare Debt Totals HRK 9 Bn

ZAGREB, June 17, 2020 - Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Wednesday the healthcare system's debt in the last quarter reached HRK 9 billion and announced changes and reforms necessary to make the system financially tenable.

"It's still not ten billion but the debts are rising. Given the coronavirus, it's normal that we had additional needs to finance healthcare. The system turned out to be very good in terms of the functioning of doctors, nurses and other staff, but at the same time the financial circumstances are such that it is necessary to make certain changes, reforms so that the system becomes financially tenable," he told reporters after an inner cabinet meeting.

Asked about the amount of the debt, Maric said that in Q1 2020 it was HRK 9 billion.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

From Lovran to Zagreb: How Do Croatia's Hospitals Stand Financially?

As Novac/Frenki Lausic writes on the 4th of May, 2019, across 59 hospitals in Croatia, a total of 41,692 workers are employed, out of a total of 65,000 employees in the health care system, and the share of health workers in the total number of hospitals ranges from 70.1 percent in the Lovran Orthopedic Clinic, to 81.2 percent at the Clinical Hospital Centre in Zagreb.

From this data, it could easily be concluded that the hospital in Lovran operates poorly, as it has a large number of administrative staff who aren't directly involved in the care of patients, while KBC Zagreb is best placed financially because it has the least employees in administration. The reality is exactly the opposite: Lovran is the best Croatian medical institution financially, making it one of the ten major state hospitals operating without any losses, while KBC Zagreb has the biggest losses, the most obligations, and the most outstanding unpaid obligations.

However, data on the positive financial performance of hospitals may be correlated with the fact that the largest share of beds (in total capacity) is boasted by the clinic in Lovran, 82.61 percent, while OB Varaždin, one of the general hospitals with the worst business indicators, has the largest number of beds for long-term and chronic treatment, as well as palliative care (511 beds, or 49.18 percent of the total bed capacity of the hospital) due to the merging of the Novi Marof Hospital for Chronic Disease and the Hospital for Lung Diseases, and TBC Klenovnik OB Varaždin.

Therefore, the status and causes of success and failure in Croatia's hospitals need not be judged at first impression because each hospital is a special case for itself and requires a deeper analysis. However, there are also common denominators when it comes to the ''bad'' side of the Croatian hospital system, ranging from poor financial results, some bad patient outcomes, long waiting lists, and some institutions with literally horrible sanitation facilities.

In response to a survey conducted by Maja Vehovec, Ivana Rašić Bakarić and Sunčana Slijepčević, researchers from the Economics Institute back in 2012, which included one director of the Clinical Hospital Centre, three directors of general hospitals and two directors of special hospitals and representatives of the association of employers in the health system, it can be seen that when finances are in question, "the root cause of the problem with not paying costs is seen by directors as a continuous imbalance between the revenue received and the expense accounted for."

The basic part of the hospital's income is, in fact, the income that the hospital receives from HZZO, which are presented as the so-called "limits", ie, the annual budget funding which was introduced back in 1997.

For this reason, the authors point out that the limits to be allocated to hospitals should be based on objective indicators such as the number and types of surgeries, the number and type of outpatient examinations and the like, ie, the costs of each activity. The second management model in this part, based on the payment of the services provided, began being implemented back in 2015, at the time when Croatia was ruled by an SDP government, but such a practice was later stopped by the HDZ government, which returned the "limits" method the following year.

The Croatian Government and the Ministry of Health have decided to ''repair'' the situation this year by increasing their contributions to the healthcare system from 15 to 16.5 percent.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more information on Croatia's healthcare system, hospitals in Croatia, the quality of treatment in Croatia and much more.


Click here for the original article by Frenki Lausic for Novac/Jutarnji

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

From the UAE to Zagreb and Croatia for Medical Treatment

For a long time now, we've been trying to show and tell people that Croatia is far, far more than just the sun and the sea. Sure, the sparkling Adriatic and the warm climate is of course a big draw for many who take to Croatia's beautiful coastline every summer, but those who think that's all that this incredible little country has to offer are sadly mistaken.

I'm not just talking about the more encouraging numbers of tourists starting to uncover continental Croatia, Eastern Croatia and the country's various hidden gems, but about the Croatia which lies outside of the tourism bubble entirely, well... almost.

Tourism makes up a large part of Croatia's GDP and there's no denying that it is by far the country's strongest economic branch, this is not always a particularly positive thing and owing to it, Croatia has been plagued by enormous seasonality in terms of the economy and the labour market. Unemployment traditionally drops quite suddenly and by a significant amount during the run up to the bustling summer tourist season, especially on the coast, and then rises once again come the end of October thanks to the attempted lengthening of the tourist season, if not before.

Now a victim to a demographic crisis, mass emigration thanks to the country's membership of the EU's single market and a strange paradox in which there are no jobs but plenty of would-be employees but also many jobs and nobody who wants to do them, it's becoming more and more obvious that despite it being the country's strongest economic branch, relying almost entirely on tourist money might not be the best plan. 

So, what else does Croatia have? It has some excellent doctors and nurses and many truly outstanding medical facilities. As Croatia tries to position itself as much more than ''just sea and sunshine'', medical tourism, or perhaps better to say ''health tourism'' has begun to take off, and with some promising results. Just recently, Donald Trump's first wife, Ivana, was in Zagreb for eye surgery at the well known Svjetlost clinic, where she underwent a procedure to restore her vision to normality and afford her a life without glasses and/or contact lenses. People like Ivana catch people's attention, and she's just one of many who have found their way to Croatia for a procedure of some sort.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 29th of April, 2019, tourists from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are increasingly travelling to Croatia and love luxury hotels and villas, and the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) is set to present Croatia's rich tourist offer at the ATM Arabian Travel Market in Dubai on May the 1st, 2019.

In the scope of the above, HTZ Director Kristjan Staničić met with media and partners such as WEGO, Medical Ozone, AVIAREPS, Jordan's Tourism Organization, Meetin and Think Strawberries.

"Presenting Croatia on this market and cooperation with the UAE has multiple effects for Croatian tourism and for the economy, and the direct air link between Zagreb and Dubai with Emirates has led to an increased demand from business travellers, as well as tourists from East Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and then even Australia,'' he said.

There are also high expectations from the new Fly Dubai line, which will link Dubrovnik and Dubai from June the 2nd to October the 13th.

Citizens of the UAE realised 25.5 thousand overnight stays in Croatia last year, and most of them came to Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split. They are typically demanding guests who love a touch of luxury and are travelling more and more.

In addition to HTZ, there are seven co-exhibitors, TZ Zagreb, TZ Dubrovnik-Neretva County, NP Plitvice Lakes, HUP, Amathus Travel Croatia, Abacus Tours and Jung Sky.

Zagreb will be presented in Dubai as a city break, as well as a health tourism destination.

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel and lifestyle pages for much more. If it's just the Croatian capital you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow or check out Zagreb in a Page. Find out more about Croatia's blossoming health tourism story, as well as the health system in general, here.


Click here for the original article by Marija Crnjak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Marić: ''Kujundžić is Great, But Croatian Health System is Unsustainable''

As Frenki Lausic/Novac writes on the 20th of April, 2019, the Croatian Government's convergence program for the next three-year period has identified the pension and health system as the two largest structural risks, both of which are associated with the country's worryingly negative demographic trends.

This government assessment came at a time when trade unions are busy organising a referendum on pension reforms, as well as during a somewhat shaky period in which Zdravko Marić, the Croatian finance minister, said that Milan Kujundžić, the minister of health, is an excellent minister but that the Croatian health system with over seven billion kuna's worth of debt is unsustainable in an interview for N1.

When it comes to Croatia's concerning demographic trends, the program states that, when comparing the European Union and the Republic of Croatia, in the period 2016-2070, the remaining life span after 65 years of age will be extended by 6.4 years in men and by 6.2 years in women in Croatia, whereas in the EU, it will be 5.3 years more for men and 5.1 years more for women.

It has been stated that the life expectancy at birth in 2016 was 81.1 years for women and 75 years for men, which is less than the average for the EU, where the expected life expectancy at birth for women was 83.7 years, for men 78.3 years. However, data for the Republic of Croatia showed that life expectancy up to 2070 will be 9.4 years more for men and 7.8 more for women, while for the EU, life expectancy is expected to grow to 7.8 years more for men and 6 more years for women.

In this context, the results of the long-term projections for the Republic of Croatia for the period 2016-2070 show that without the calculated effects of the reform which came into force at the beginning of this year, pension expenditures from the first pillar should be reduced from 10.6 percent of GDP, which is what it was back in 2016, to 6.8 percent of GDP to the year 2070.

At the same time, transfers from the national budget to cover the deficit would gradually fall from the current 4.8 percent to about 1.2 percent of GDP by the year 2070. Expenditures for pensions from the second pillar should gradually increase to 1.6 percent in 2070, which means that overall retirement expenditures from the first and second pillars in 2070 would amount to 8.4 percent of Croatia's GDP.

Thus, looking at the situation macroeconomically, the pension system would remain viable, but with inadequately small pensions. That is why the government states that measures from the latest pension reform will increase pension adequacy and, accordingly, retirement expenditures in the first pillar.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for much more.


Click here for the original article by Frenko Lausic for Novac/Jutarnji

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

High Number of HZZO Insured People Not Living in Croatia

Since as far back as 1998, when a person is left without work, their health insurance and the right to receive health care has been made possible by going and registering with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO).

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of March, 2019, although thousands upon thousands of people have left Croatia in recent years, many of them are still being treated medically in their homeland, primarily because it pays off more than doing so elsewhere. This trend was warned about by the Croatian Association of Contracting Ordinations. They estimate that as many as 330,000 people who don't actually live in Croatia are still exercising the right to the country's health insurance benefits through HZZO.

As mentioned, since back in 1998, when a person becomes left without work, their right to health insurance is realised rather simply via registration with HZZO. At the same time, this person does not actually have to be regisered as unemployed officially, as was explained by HZZ. This leads to a large number of people working and paying their taxes over in Germany, and coming and getting their teeth fixed while on holiday in summer in Croatia.

This is apparently also an issue in the mind of the Croatian health minister, both financially and morally. "It's not fair to those who live here and who pay for health insurance, therefore HZZO will undertake and is already taking out certain measures [to attempt to deal with this issue]," said Minister Milan Kujundzic. Such measures will also soon be taken up by the European Union itself. Electronic data exchanges between member states is being introduced, which will help control those who are HZZO insured.

''According to the data we have, as of the 31st of December 2018, compared to 2017, we've got 40,850 less insured persons -  that's about 0,96 percent. Our records include some 60,000 workers who work for our _Crpatian+ companies in the EU,'' said the HZZO's director, Lucijan Vukelić. He emphasised the fact that HZZO has been caught up with the various problems of expatriates from Croatia who pay their taxes abroad and are still in HZZO's register, and are therefore treated for whatever ailments may bother them here in Croatia.

Vukelić also noted that HZZO should enter into a joint data exchange with the EU on the 1st of July this year. This data also includes non-EU countries, but involves them as they are economically linked to the EU. It is a bi task and a fairly painstaking process because there are many countries involved, both EU and non EU across the European continent.

There are numerous confusing laws that many misinterpret when it comes to health insurance in Croatia which came into force when Croatia joined the EU back in 2013.

EU countries with a public health system such as Poland and the UK made it so that, for example, British nationals who are resident in Croatia could use their EU health card to access healthcare in Croatia, effectively trading one public insurance policy for another. Such laws appear to have created more confusion than sense, and whether or not HZZO will manage to get to the bottom of the situation with its own nationals with MUP's help is yet to be seen.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

12 Million Kuna Investment for Rovinj Hospital in Next 15 Months

As Novac/Barbara Ban writes on the 26th of February, 2019, ''Dr. Martin Horvat'' Rovinj Hospital has proudly stated the fact that in 2019, it plans to invest heavily in the amount of 12 million kuna, and it ended 2018 in a surplus in regard to finance and the number of patients. They claimed that they had 500 patients more than one year earlier, that they provided 16,440 more medical services than they did last year, marking an increase of 26.5 percent.

Rovinj Hospital finished of the business year of 2018 with a financial gain of 623,000 kuna. This is the fifth year in a row that Rovinj Hospital has managed to conclude with some excellent financial results, with all of our employees being paid all of their salaries within the deadline, as well as regressions, Christmas bonuses, vouchers, jubilee awards, money for children for St. Nicholas, retirement benefits, sickness benefits, and assistance in accordance with our underlying collective agreement. I'm proud to show this positive change and an increase in the number of visits to our institution from year to year because better implementation means better addressing the needs of our citizens,'' says dr. sc. Marinko Rade, who was recently elected to the Working Group of the Ministry of Health for the drafting of the Ordinance on Health Tourism.

Investments of 12 million kuna are planned to be carried out over the next fifteen months, and alterations have already begun in the department where the patients from the AUVA insurance company stay during their time at Rovinj Hospital. The hospital's entire roof will be changed, the façade will be renewed, and works on the hospital's energy sources will be carried out, a new elevator will also be installed. The total value of these investments currently stands at five million kuna, with renovation of the main building also planned.

''Investments for a further seven million kuna will be issued shortly, including the renovation of the façade, the replacement of the entire roof, and works regarding the change of the energy [system] of the main building of the hospital, where there are clinics and departments in which our local patients are treated. We're investing the most in these departments. Reconstruction should start at the end of 2019,'' added Rade.

He added that so far, everything they invested has been covered by money from the hospital's significant profits, and now they are financially secure enough to safely borrow. In addition to all of the works Rovinj Hospital is set to undergo, a library will be opened soon in the department, and a new therapeutic park will be set up.

''So far, we've collected 6,000 books donated by citizens, which is a truly impressive and record-breaking number for a public action. At this time, we're separate the books by their categories and languages, and we're renewing the space where the library will be located at the department. Additionally, the placement of a therapeutic park is ongoing, which is being carried out within the Design/Build project in collaboration with the George Washington University from the USA. The project will be completed by April this year,'' noted Rade.

Rovinj Hospital isn't ''only'' planning to invest in buildings, but also in their much appreciated employees, in terms of their continued and additional education. This will amount to up to 250,000 kuna.

''This is the money that this institution allocates from its income, ie, from the income generated from the private market,'' Rade added that owing to several factors, Rovinj Hospital can't raise anyone's salary regardless of their position, and that's why the hospital's administration has been looking for more innovative ways to properly reward and thus hopefully retain such valued employees, and one way is to pay them in continued, additional education.

''Of course, doctors and healthcare staff are paid for their training and for congresses in order to become superior in their specialties, which means more access to patients. But we're also investing in the non-medical staff who work in our hospital, which I consider to be equally important links in the chain. This means that, let's say, chefs and cooks can receive paid education which then allows them to progress and provides them with technical education and training that can help them out more in their day-to-day work. That's why we've reserved a lot of money,'' concluded the director of Rovinj Hospital.

For more on investment in Croatia, healthcare, health tourism in Croatia and much, much more, give our business page a follow.


Click here for the original article by Barbara Ban for Novac/Jutarnji

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Sućuraj's Search is Over as Macedonian Doctor Takes Position

As we reported recently, an attractive position being offered for the last six months in Sućuraj on the island of Hvar went unanswered by any Croatian doctor, but while tumbleweed appeared to roll by the ageing job advertisement in Croatian terms, one applicant, the only applicant, did get the job.

As Morski writes on the 23rd of January, 2019, the Sućuraj clinic on the island of Hvar has finally managed to obtain a permanent doctor. The physician from Macedonia had to pass a few exams to make sure her foreign diploma could be recognised in Croatia and started working at clinic in Sućuraj on Monday. Sućuraj's brand new doctor is 36-year-old Divna Vojnovska.

The arrival of a doctor from Macedonia was officially confirmed by Dalmacija Danas after having been informed by the director of the health centre of Split-Dalmatia County, Dragomir Petric.

''I'm surprised by the media hysteria about this case. Recently, doctors are mentioned by the media only in bad cases, and they bypass the good ones among us,'' the director stated.

''It isn't news here that there's now a doctor from Macedonia, but the real news is that it is the first local self-government in our county that has provided all of her conditions, which means an apartment and a 50,000 kuna annual bonus. In my view, it's secondary news that the person who came here isn't from Split but from Macedonia or some other country,'' added Petric.

Dr. Vojnovska: I love Dalmatia!

Dr. Divna Vojnovska revealed that she's not afraid of the winter blues and boredom on the sunniest Croatian island and that she is already very much in love with the sea.

''Yesterday was my first day in Sućuraj. I'm satisfied. The first day there were a few more people, I guess they wanted to meet me. Today there have been less. Otherwise, there are about 400 patients in Sućuraj,'' Dr. Vojnovska said.

''The accommodation is good, I got a big apartment. I haven't met a lot of people yet, but since I signed a contract for one year, which is how long my work permit lasts, I believe that I'll gain friendships on the island. Of course, there's always the possibility of extending my contract. Generally, I'm satisfied with everything offered,'' concluded Sućuraj's new doctor.


Click here for the original article by Dalmacija Danas

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Hvar's Search for Doctor Sees Nobody from Croatia Apply

Croatia's paradoxical society strikes again as a job posting for a doctor on the island of Hvar from a while ago goes unanswered by anyone from Croatia.

Croatia demographic crisis has left and continues to leave its very real and deeply concerning mark on the domestic labour force. Medics are among those heading off abroad in their droves in search of better wages, more job security, and a less politicised society in which to practice their chosen professions. While at the same time, some of the healthcare offered here in Croatia is among the best, with some of the best professionals on standby to do an excellent job.

The old saying about just not being able to get the staff even stretches to the most academic of positions, it seems.

One job posting from the island of Hvar in particular, in search of a doctor, should have turned the heads of many. The offer showed that the position comes with handsome pay, excellent bonuses and an apartment all thrown in, and on the stunning island of Hvar, of all places. It could be a lot worse, right? It appears that not even this much bait is enough to catch most fish, at least not fish from Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 20th of January, 2019, the advertisement for a doctor in Sućuraj on Hvar has been live for around half a year, in which in addition to good wages and a free apartment, a huge bonus of 50,000 kuna per year is offered, as HRT reports.

As yet, not one person from the Republic of Croatia has applied for the position, and the only interested person is a doctor from Macedonia.

The policlinic in Sućuraj on the island of Hvar currently lies empty. There are no patients because there are no doctors, just one nurse. Sadly, this isn't her first time having to work without a doctor in her 37 years of service.

Stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just Hvar you're interest in, give Total Hvar a follow.


Thursday, 17 January 2019

Zagreb Clinic in Extraordinary Situation Owing to Influenza Outbreak

Owing to the current influenza epidemic, the Zagreb Clinic for Infectious Diseases "Fran Mihaljević" is currently experiencing an extrarodinary state of affairs, with patients needing respirators and oxygen, and even some dying.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of January, 2019, over the last 24 hours alone, four people with severe lung inflammation have been received and a total of eighteen are needing to be treated with respirators. There are hundreds of people arriving from all over Croatia, and the flu season hasn't yet reached its peak.

According to the Croatian Institute of Health, five people have died of flu, and 8,460 are currently sick enough to need treatment with this common yet potentially deadly infectious viral illness.

The Zagreb city office for emergency situations has called a media conference of the Dr. Fran Mihaljević Clinic for Infectious Diseases, at which journalists will have their questions answered and be further informed about the depth of the current situation.

The aforementioned Zagreb clinic's press conference will be held on Saturday, the 19th of January, 2019, at 10:30 in the meeting room of the administration building of the clinic in Zagreb. The topic of the conference will be the significant increase in the number of patients with severe influenza and lung inflammation hospitalised at the Dr. Fran Mihaljević Clinic for Infectious Diseases.

The head of the Institute for Intensive Medicine confirmed to Index that the situation at the Zagreb clinic has become overwhelming.

"People suffering from all over Croatia are coming to us. They're all on mechanical ventilation, there are currently eighteen patients,'' Kutleša said.

"From December the 30th until today, 26 patients with severe lung inflammation have been admitted to the clinic, except one who had bacterial meningitis. These were also complications caused by influenza. All of them either were or are still on mechanical ventilation, or on respirators,'' Kutleša explained.

As many as ten patients needed to be given oxygen when a respirator was insufficient, there were also deaths that followed.

"A patient who had lung inflammation passed away. All of the patients, including her, are between the ages of 40 and 60. Our ECMO team even went all the way to Mostar to deal with one patient who was about 40 years old. We'd especially like to thank the ministry that has provided us with eight additional respirators and two ECMO devices,'' stated Kutleša for Index.

"This situation is dramatic. We haven't had an epidemic like this since 2009. When H1N1 prevails, to the degree it has this year, it's always awful. We had another difficult year between 2009 and 2019, but it wasn't this hard,'' Kutleša says, adding that people can still get vaccinated against flu.

"It's too late for those who have already caught flu," Kutleša added.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated news page. If it's just Zagreb you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow.

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