Friday, 18 February 2022

Maternity Hospitals in Croatia Rank Low in Latest Research

February 18, 2022 - A recent research seeking to determine the quality of the childbirth experience during the pandemic in several European countries has exposed maternity hospitals in Croatia, and for all the wrong reasons.

The prestigious journal The Lancet Regional Health Europe published this month a scientific paper entitled Quality of health care for mothers and newborns in maternity hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic: an online survey of mothers' perspectives in 12 WHO countries.

The fact that the research was featured on the cover of this scientific journal speaks of its importance on the experience of health care for pregnant women, mothers, and midwives during the pandemic, as well as the quality of investigation and conclusions.

The study included a total of 21,027 women who gave birth in the first year of the pandemic, from March 1, 2020 to March 15, 2021 in twelve countries of the WHO European Region.

The online questionnaire is based on the WHO Standards for Quality of Maternal and Neonatal Care (QMNC) and is organized in four areas: Care Provision, Care Experience, Availability of Staff and Human Resources, and the Impact of COVID- 19 on the provision of care. Based on the results in each area, an overall ranking of responses for that area (0-100) and an overall score (0-400) was formed.

The results indicate huge differences in the quality of care for women and newborns. Unfortunately, Croatia is in the penultimate place on the list of 12 countries. At the top of the scale are Luxembourg (355), Spain (345) and Germany (335) and at the bottom are Romania (275), Croatia (270) and Serbia (205).

Maternity hospitals in Croatia were rated best in the areas of care (80 out of a possible 100) and in the assessment of changes related to COVID (70 out of a possible 100), while the experience in care (65 out of a possible 100) and the availability of staff and human resources were rated worse (55 out of 100), reports Novi list.

In collaboration with the leaders of the scientific project Imagine EURO, Trieste Burlo Garofolo Institute, the project was worked on in Croatia by the head of the Reproductive Rights Program at the Roda Association, Daniela Drandić, M.Sc.

"This research once again pointed out all the problems in health care for pregnant women, mothers, and midwives, which Roda has been warning the competent institutions and the public about since the beginning of the pandemic. The only question is whether the competent institutions will direct their efforts towards solving these problems", warned the Roda Association.

"Once again, we have seen that, despite the constant talk about demography, when it comes to changes in the health care system, women and children are simply not a priority.", they added.

Several more scientific studies will be published as part of this research project, including work measuring the experiences of health professionals in the pandemic. "Over 3,000 health professionals from Europe have already participated in the research on the experiences of health professionals in maternity hospitals during the pandemic, and we call on those from maternity hospitals in Croatia to do the same; the survey questionnaire is open to all health professionals working in maternity hospitals.

In addition, we continue to invite women who gave birth in the hospital during the pandemic to participate in the research that is still ongoing; namely, we want to investigate the experiences of women throughout the pandemic''.

Source: Slobodna Dalmacija

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Sunday, 3 October 2021

Details of New Croatian Maternity and Paternity Law Proposals

October the 3rd, 2021 - The new law proposal we recently wrote about, which would guarantee new mothers full wage payments for the duration of Croatian maternity leave, as well as paternity leave for new fathers, has had more details revealed.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, a woman's full salary will be paid during the entire duration of Croatian maternity leave, and paternity leave is also now being introduced - the news is that, as Vecernji list unofficially finds out, the announcing of a proposal for a new Maternity and Parental Benefits Act.

Parental benefit during the six months of leave following the birth of a child currently amounts to a maximum of 5,654.20 kuna, and in the future it should be equated with the full salary of an employed or self-employed parent who uses that leave. An interesting new part of these rules is obligatory paternity leave, which the father will use together with the mother immediately after the birth of their child. It is a matter of harmonisation with the European Union directive governing the matter.

-''The implementation of Directive 2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on the work-life balance of parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU introduces a completely new law that didn't previously exist in the Croatian legal system, and that is paternity leave. Paternity leave will allow employed and self-employed fathers to use at least ten working days on the occasion of the birth of their child with the aim of encouraging fathers to use their parental leave. The proposal that the compensation paid out during paternity leave be in the amount of full salary is being considered,'' they confirmed from the Central State Office for Demography and Youth.

Namely, this office is responsible for regulating cash benefits during Croatian maternity leave.

''In addition, certain issues related to the difficulties in the application of the current law, as well as the possibilities of improving the area of ​​parental leave, are all being reviewed,'' they continued in their statement from the Central State Office for Demography and Youth. They didn't specifically respond to any inquiries regarding the amount of parental benefit being discussed, but they did say that these legal changes should come into force in the third quarter of 2022.

Compulsory paternity leave should, in accordance with the aforementioned European Union directive, be introduced by the 2nd of August next year at the very latest. Yesterday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic confirmed that he would move in the direction of delimiting Croatian maternity leave benefits. The view is that this is a very good demographic measure that can encourage families and young people to decide to have more children.

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

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Government Introduces Paternity Leave, Full Wages for New Croatian Mothers

October the 2nd, 2021 - Some excellent news on the Croatian political scene (which isn't something that can often be said) has come about in the form of a positive decision on mandatory paternity leave and the payment of full wages for new Croatian mothers.

The decision, adopted to keep up with the many rather stringent regulations and directives on this topic issued by the European Union (EU), will certainly be a sigh of relief for many.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, maternity benefit during the six months after the birth of a new baby will no longer be limited. Instead new Croatian mothers will receive the full amount of the salary they'd normally receive if they were present as normal at their workplaces, which is a fantastic result for all those who are pregnant or planning to be in terms of finances.

During the six months following the birth of a new baby, the compensation amount today amounts to a maximum of 5,654.20 kuna, and Jutarnji list has since found out that it will be equal to the full salary of an employed parent who uses their leave, most likely from the second half of next year on.

While that is sure to take some of the worries and weight off the shoulders of Croatian mothers to be and those planning for a future with children in it, that is not the only bit of good news. The Croatian Government also intends to change the law and introduce mandatory paternity leave for new fathers, ie ten full working days of normally paid leave that the new father will use with the mother immediately after the birth of their child.

This is an obligation the Republic of Croatia had to fulfil in accordance with the European Union Directive on the balance between the working lives and private lives of parents and caregivers.

For more on Croatian and European Union politics, make sure to check out our dedicated section.