Saturday, 25 September 2021

Vili Beros to Healthcare Workers: If You Don't Want Vaccine or Test, You Can't Come to Work

September the 25th, 2021 - Croatian Health Minister Vili Beros has issued a clear message to those not wanting to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and those who don't want to frequently test for it to ensure they're negative.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Vili Beros has stated that safety has no price, and that although costs can always be discussed, safety and security will always come before anything else.

''The process around covid certification is aimed at increasing safety, and safety like that has no price. We can talk about costs, but we will insist on safety above all. We're planning to carry out testing twice a week. We don’t know what to do with those people who choose to refuse a test and also refuse vaccination. In order not to discriminate against anyone, we've introduced the possibility of testing.

It will be free at first, but it can't be like that forever. If someone doesn't want to be tested for the virus, then they will have to enter it in the records of their working hours and will not be able to attend work and will create a problem for the system and for themselves. I can't talk about further actions at this moment in time, but everything will be done in accordance with the law,'' Vili Beros pointed out.

"No responsible person should resort to forgery. As far as I know, there have been no forgeries within the Croatian healthcare system,'' added the Health Minister.

Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic emphasised that covid certificates cannot be forged due to their specificities. Vili Beros repeated the fact that althoug he wants to avoid discrimination, he didn't know how long the testing procedure would be free for healthcare workers who don't want to be vaccinated against the virus.

"The funds for it been secured, but I can't say what the amount is. It's known that there is sick leave control, you have to have a justification for being off work if you're too unwell, and not wanting to be tested is not yet included in the classification of those diseases,'' he warned.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including the locations of testing centres and vaccination points, as well as travel rules, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.

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.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Vili Beros: Validity of Croatian Covid Certificates to be Extended

September the 15th, 2021 - After it was confirmed that from the beginning of October, all employees in the healthcare system can only come to work if they have Croatian covid certificates, and soon the same could happen in the social services system, the question arose what to do with those whose certificates are expiring.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, at this moment in time, Croatian covid certificates are valid for nine months from the holder receiving their second dose of the vaccine. For those who were vaccinated early and received their second dose in January, their deadline expires in mid-October. This primarily applies to healthcare and social workers, as they were a priority group and were among the first to be vaccinated.

"Doctors, nurses and non-medical staff who trusted science at the end of last year and the beginning of this year and were vaccinated and thus preserved their own and other people's health, will not be left without their Croatian covid certificates,'' confirmed the Minister of Health, Vili Beros.

At this point, Croatian covid certificates are valid if no more than 270 days have passed since the holder received their second dose, a period which, for the first among the population to be vaccinated, including healthcare workers, nursing home staff and residents, will begin to expire soon.

The extension of the validity of Croatian covid certificates will certainly be related to receiving the third dose, and Beros notes that at this moment all eyes are on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which should decide on the third ''booster'' dose of Pfizer in ten days at the latest. "I believe that the opinion of the EMA will be positive. The Croatian Institute of Public Health is preparing instructions so that we can say that we're ready,'' explained Beros, reports Jutarnji list.

But regardless of the EMA and the decision on the third dose, an extension of the duration of Croatian covid certificates is also being considered in the context of vaccination. For now, only Pfizer has asked the EMA for approval for the third dose, so the question remains what to do with those who have been vaccinated with Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

"As always, we're closely monitoring the situation and adjusting things as needed. Other companies will certainly ask for approvals for the third dose. We're also waiting for answers as to whether it will be recommended that people who received the vector vaccine, for the third dose, receive the mRNA vaccine and vice versa,'' said Beros.

In addition to the booster dose, it seems that Croatian covid certificates will have their validy periods extended.

"Some countries have already extended the validity of their certificates to 12 months, and it's very likely that we'll go in that direction and extend the certificate for a year in accordance with the results of the latest scientific and professional tests," said Beros.

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.

Monday, 13 September 2021

Beros: Hospital Staff Can Only Go to Work in October with Covid Passes

September the 13th, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beros has recently revealed that hospital staff, including doctors, nurses and non medical employees will only be able to physically enter their places of work as of the 1st of October with covid passes, which are given to those who return negative test results, are fully vaccinated, or have proof of having contracted and overcome the disease.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, doctors, nurses, but also non-medical staff working in healthcare institutions across Croatia will only be able to come to work from October the 1st onwards with their digital covid passes. They will get the green light based on one of three conditions, which are vaccination, overcoming the disease, or a negative covid test.

Minister of Health Vili Beros told Jutarnji list that they have been discussing the introduction of covid passes into such scenarios for weeks now, and an official decision will be made on the matter next week.

The introduction itself should take place in early October. Such an organisation, however, takes time.

''We have to hold meetings with hospital management, and ultimately, employees will have some time to decide on the best option, vaccination,'' explained Vili Beros, adding that the procurement of tests for employees is currently underway.

In the first phase, testing for employees will be free, and it is planned that after a month and a half or two, testing will be conducted at the employees' own expense. Although the majority believes that the testing should have been charged to the employees immediately, because medical staff are naturally expected to be vaccinated, Vili Beros decided it was best to make sure there was some reasonable period of time for adjustment.

After the announcement of the introduction of covid passes in the Croatian healthcare system, according to unofficial information, the next in line is social care, and the Minister of Labour Josip Aladrovic has already begun preparing for that. However, whether or not the employees in care homes will also only be able go to work from the beginning of October or a little later on with covid passes, depends on the organisation of that which is yet to come.

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

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Minister Vili Beros: Two New Epidemiological Measures Being Prepared

September the 12th, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beros has stated that two new anti-epidemic measures are being prepared regarding the use of covid certificates.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the National Civil Protection Directorate recently held what has become a regular press conference, during which Minister Vili Beros discussed the current situation with the spread of the novel coronavirus, as well as measures that are in preparation.

''The key to success in this fight lies the hands of those who are still unvaccinated, whether or not all of our efforts simply come to nothing lies with them. Over 81 percent of those newly infected are unvaccinated people. In KBC Split, over 93 percent of those currently hospitalised are unvaccinated. So... don’t those numbers say it all? Over 90 percent, in some places over 94 percent of people on respirators aren't vaccinated. Maths doesn't lie, you don't have to trust me, trust mathematics,'' said the Minister of Health Vili Beros.

"Let's not gamble with this, let's save people's lives, I have to tell you that as your minister. As we have been talking about for some time now, aware of the epidemiological situation, we're preparing two new anti-epidemic measures that would introduce the use of the covid digital certificate, proof of having overcome the illness or some other proof of vaccination in the healthcare system. Several decisions are being prepared in the Ministry of Health on that topic,'' announced Beros.

He was asked if covid certificates would be applied in shopping centres.

"Every day we're talking about this issue. In the general context, we're thinking about other departments as well. I think that the department of social welfare is also the department where this should be introduced. But, if we think more broadly, depending on the unfolding of the ongoing pandemic... the profession will make a decision on shopping centres,'' he said.

"We are aware of the limitations of these covid certificates, but that being said, we think that it continues to be the best way at this moment in time,'' Minister Vili Beros said.

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

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.

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Beroš: Info Centre Established for Families of Bus Crash Victims

ZAGREB, 25 July, 2021- Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Sunday that given an increase in calls following a serious bus crash, an information centre was established at the Slavonski Brod General Hospital which the families of those killed and injured could call at 035 201 111.

Beroš said in a statement that "those injured are in the best hands at the Slavonski Brod General Hospital," and that the Kosovo ambassador and a translator were with them "so that we can make these difficult moments as easy as possible for them."

The information centre collects all relevant information from the Civil Protection, the Brod-Posavina County police, the Croatian Red Cross and other medical services.

For latest news in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Vili Beros on Croatia and Competition: Croatia is Safest Destination

July the 24th, 2021 - Croatian Health Minister Vili Beros, otherwise a neurosurgeon by profession, has taken to Twitter to praise Croatia for being the safes destination for tourists when compared to the country's typical competition across the Mediterranean.

Despite the Delta variant seeing infection rates shoot up once again across Europe, with the United Kingdom being hit particularly hard despite their decision to drop all restrictions and attempt to live with the novel virus as normally as possible, Croatian numbers are still favourable.

Britain recently moved Croatia to its much desired green list in its own traffic light system, but the ECDC map recently changed the colour of the Croatian coast from green to orange, which isn't the best news as the height of the summer season approaches, but Health Minister Vili Beros isn't letting that get in the way of the generally positive Croatian epidemiological trends.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Health Minister Vili Beros took to social media and published a graph showing a comparison of the Republic of Croatia and the countries that represent its competition in terms of the summer season and tourism.

Vili Beros concluded that we're still the safest destination compared to tourist competitors and uged people to continue getting vaccinated and sticking to all of the current epidemiological measures in order to make sure this summer season is closer to that of pre-pandemic 2019 than to the dire situation we all experienced this time last year.

''Compared to the competitive flagships of European Union tourism, the Republic of Croatia is the safest tourist destination. Let's keep it that way! Do we need a better motive for vaccination and adherence to epidemiological measures than this? Let's stay responsible, let's get vaccinated and let's preserve the tourist season,'' read Vili Beros' tweet which accompanied the graph.

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

Monday, 31 May 2021

Parliament To Discuss Vote of No Confidence in Health Minister, Vili Beroš on Tuesday

May 31st, 2021 - The Croatian parliament starts its session on Tuesday this week because the Feast of Corpus Christi is observed on Thursday. It will discuss the proposal of 41 opposition MPs for a vote of no confidence in Health Minister Vili Beroš.

The opposition says the reasons for that include the accumulated problems, the lack of an effective and transparent vaccination system, the avoidance of public procurement, corruption, and the theft of public money during the COVID pandemic to benefit close associates Minister Beroš.

"The reasons for this move are clear to all citizens - the accumulated debts in the healthcare system resulted in the suspension of deliveries of medicines to hospitals at the height of the pandemic. There are also huge problems with the vaccination system, and we have learned of favorable treatment in the development of the vaccination registration system," Peđa Grbin of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said in early May, explaining the reason for filing a joint motion for a no-confidence vote, signed by all opposition groups in parliament except the Croatian Sovereignists, who announced, however, that they would vote in favor of Beroš's resignation.

Grbin also said that the Ministry of Health "simply isn't functioning," and there were no reforms.

Beroš must leave, but that is not enough, and after he leaves, we must all work together to address the accumulated problems in the health system, Grbin said.

The government rejected the opposition's claims, saying that there are no grounds for a vote of no confidence in Beroš, and proposed to the parliament to reject the proposed decision on the no-confidence vote.

The government stressed that since the COVID outbreak, the health system had to deal with circumstances it had not experienced since the Homeland War, but it "stayed on its feet."

It rejected the opposition's claims on financing the health system, organizing the vaccination system, the public procurement, and claims related to the website and the procurement of advisory services.

The government said that the reform measures should establish a better, more efficient, and more flexible organizational structure and health system management.

On Wednesday, the parliament will discuss a report on the work of the State Audit Office for 2020; it will vote at noon and then conclude this week's work.

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

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