Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Montenegrin Health Minister Jelena Borovinić Bojović Thanks Croatia For Vaccine Donation

ZAGREB, 25 May, 2021 - Montenegrin Health Minister Jelena Borovinić Bojović said in Zagreb on Tuesday that Croatia's donation of 10,000 vaccine doses was significant for Montenegro's efforts to inoculate its population against COVID-19.

In early May the Croatian government decided to donate 30,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines to Bosnia and Herzegovina and 10,000 doses each to Montenegro and Kosovo.

After meeting with her Croatian counterpart Vili Beroš, Borovinić Bojović thanked Croatia for that "big friendly gesture and great solidarity."

The donation of 10,000 doses will be "very significant in the process of mass inoculation that is currently underway in Montenegro," she said.

Croatia's Health Minister Vili Beroš underscored that Croatia's care for its neighbouring countries.

"I hope that we will contribute at least a little in the fight against this disease," said Beroš.

The two ministers discussed cooperation in the transplantation programme with Borovinić Bojović underscoring that Croatia has "shown especially good will to help us in resolving that problem."

She added that they discussed the signing of a memorandum of understanding that would enable Montenegrin doctors to come to Croatia for further training regarding transplantation surgeries.

The Croatian transplantation programme has been recognised beyond the borders of our country, said Beroš.

He underscored Croatia was willing to help Montenegro in that regard.

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

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.

Friday, 14 May 2021

Vili Beros: That "So Long, Corona" Moment is Edging Ever Closer

May the 14th, 2021 - Croatian Health Minister Vili Beros has assured the public that with the vaccination rollout becoming more and more successful across the country, that much anticipated moment at which we say so long to the coronavirus pandemic is edging ever closer.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Health Minister Vili Beros said at a government session held on Thursday that so far, almost 29 percent of the Croatian adult population has been vaccinated with a single dose, and eight percent of those people have been vaccinated fully, meaning that they have received both doses of one of the vaccines effective against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

A total of 1,571,650 doses of vaccine have arrived in the Republic of Croatia so far, more than 46,000 doses were administered on the 12th of this month, and more than 1,230,000 doses have been administered since the start of the vaccination rollout which began earlier this year, Vili Beros said.

"We're recording a promising trend and increasing the number of vaccinated people, as well as significantly fewer newly infected people. The daily report on the number of infected people shows that people continuously place their trust in trust the profession,'' he said.

''Mass vaccination points across the country are an indicator of the organisation, unity and efficiency of the Croatian healthcare system,'' said Vili Beros, before thanking all of the vaccinators and volunteers in the field making sure the pandemic comes to an end as soon as possible.

"On the eve of the arrival of summer holidays, with each additional dose, we're closer to the circumstances that we can say 'so long, corona' (adio korona) according to the action soon to take place of the same name, which will take place in the City of Split in two days," concluded Vili Beros.

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

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Feasibility Study For Hospital Project in Osijek to be Prepared

ZAGREB, 11 May, 2021 - The 35 million kuna contract on the elaboration of a feasibility study for the construction of a new complex housing the hospital centre in Osijek was signed on Tuesday in that biggest eastern Croatian city.

The document on preparing the feasibility study was signed by Health Minister Vili Beroš, the Osijek Hospital Centre head, Željko Zubčić and the representative of the consortium of bidders. As many as 30 million kuna will be provided from European funds, whereas the health ministry will cover the remaining 5.2 million.

Regional Development and EU Funds minister, Nataša Tramišak, said at the contract-signing ceremony that the co-funding from the EU funds was ensured through the "Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem" project.

She said that the construction of the future hospital centre was estimated at two billion kuna, and the exact sum would be known after the Osijek hospital centre provided full information.

Zubčić said that the new hospital centre "is a greenfield investment", and would be built at a new location. He said that the new hospital complex "is a necessity for Osijek and Croatia's east.

The elaboration of the feasibility study is expected to take a year.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

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



Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Health Minister Vili Beroš Expects Hospitals To Provide Patients With Medical Services

ZAGREB, 4 May, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš on Tuesday said that the solution to acute problem of the shortage of radiologists in two hospitals in Zagreb was within the responsibility of those hospitals and that he expects those institutions to provide patients with appropriate and immediate health services.

"The solution to the acute problem of the shortage of radiologists at the Sisters of Mercy hospital and the clinic for treating cancers, which is part of that health institution, is up to the administration at the hospital and I expect them to provide all the patients with the appropriate medical services, and in particular oncology patients and those with grave diseases," said Beroš.

He underscored that patients have to be above organisational problems of an institution.

Beroš underscored that patients must not be left without services because of organisational problems or human relationships.

"That's my clear message to directors and all their associates who are responsible for managing those processes in hospitals. Problems have to be resolved," said Minister Beroš.

He added that Croatia has an increasing number of younger radiologists with experience in working in clinical centres and health institutions that could be the core of creating a system based on the example of developed countries with advanced health systems.

"Creating an efficient system of radiology services at the country level that could provide efficient, quality and financially rational services to a larger number of health institutions that are faced with a shortage of staff such as radiologists, which surfaced in the Sisters of Mercy hospital, are an inevitable step towards resolving this and similar problems," he underscored.

He underscored that as Minister of Health he has already "launched certain activities to provide organised radiology services based on the experiences of other countries that have proved to be efficient and economically justified and are appropriate to our needs and capacities.

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

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Opposition Parties File Motion of No Confidence in Health Minister Vili Beroš

ZAGREB, 4 May, 2021 - Parliamentary opposition parties have filed a joint motion for a vote of no confidence in Health Minister Vili Beroš over the accumulated problems in the healthcare sector and scandals related to the minister, Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Peđa Grbin said on Tuesday.

"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 favourable treatment in the development of the cijepise.hr vaccination registration system," Grbin said.

"The development of this non-functioning system was awarded to people connected with Minister Beroš. There are also suspicious public procurement procedures at the Health Ministry such as one where IT services were awarded to a florist and tenders were fixed for former HDZ health ministers Andrija Hebrang and Neven Ljubičić, which have been cancelled but only after media started writing about them," he added.

"The Health Ministry is simply not functioning. There are no reforms, and the extent to which this affects people's lives could best be seen in a recent case at the Clinic for Tumors where citizens suffering from malignant diseases could not receive adequate care," Grbin said, naming Beroš as the person most responsible for this.

"We want Beroš to go because right now he has done nothing positive for the healthcare system, and all the negative things he has done pose a direct threat to people's health and lives," the SDP leader said. "His departure, however, will not be enough and we will all have to come to grips with the accumulated problems together."

Grbin said that a discussion on Beroš must be held within 30 days, and whether it will be held before or after the 16 May local elections "depends on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković."

The initiative was signed by all opposition groups in parliament except the Croatian Sovereignists, but they have announced that they will vote in favour Beroš's resignation, Grbin said.

MOST's Nikola Grmoja said that his party had been warning for a long time about the problems faced by the healthcare system, including huge debts to drug wholesalers and long waiting lists.

"Beroš, of course, is not the only one to blame, the whole government is responsible. With our signatures we also want to encourage a reform of the healthcare system. All of us in the opposition agree that changes are necessary and should be launched urgently," Grmoja noted.

Sandra Benčić of the green-left We Can! platform said that they supported all the reasons for a no-confidence vote in Beroš, but stressed that the responsibility for the crisis in the healthcare system and the poor management of the coronavirus pandemic mostly lay with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

"None of the ministers, and certainly not Minister Beroš, makes decisions on their own. They were not chosen as competent persons in their departments but were chosen based on their loyalty to the prime minister who ultimately makes all decisions. The prime minister cannot be exonerated by his purported unawareness of the scandals for which we seek Beroš's resignation. That's why we ask whether the country can be run by a prime minister who does not know or who does not get key information," Benčić said.

Homeland Movement MP Stjepo Bartulica said that the Croatian healthcare system was too politicised. "There are countless problems and the possible resignation of Minister Beroš will not change things much. We have insisted from the start that the healthcare system should be governed by market principles because now we don't see any mechanisms that will bring about change to the system as this government resists structural reforms," he said.

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

Monday, 3 May 2021

Despite Vaccination Platform Failure, Health Minister Beros Boasts on Twitter

May the 3rd, 2021 - The Croatian vaccination platform, Cijepi se, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons of late. A total breakdown of the online vaccine registration platform has highlighted the difficulty Croatia continues to face in getting a good job done well at the government level, but despite that, Health Minister Beros has still had positive things to say...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian Health Minister Vili Beros is obviously trying to repair the damage caused by numerous difficulties that arose from and regarding the Cijepi se vaccination registration platform, so he decided, oddly, to boast that Croatia is the best in the European Union in terms of the daily number of vaccinated people.

"We're moving in the right direction. Croatia has the largest number of daily vaccinations in the EU, and according to e-VACCINES, every fifth Croatian citizen is vaccinated against COVID-19,'' Health Minister Beros wrote on the social media platform Twitter.

Health Minister Beros was referring to the data from the global database Our world in data for April the 29th on his Twitter post, and the Croatian Institute for Public Health announced today that a record number of vaccinations had been achieved on that particular day across Croatia, with 46,887 doses administered in one single day, which is indeed impressive. However, unfortunately, the next day the number of doses administered in Croatia was almost 20 thousand less.

“According to the data from the central register of vaccinated persons, e-Vaccinated, on the 30th of April, as many as 28,394 doses were administered while on the 29th of April, Croatia achieved an absolute record in terms of coronavirus vaccination with 46,887 people getting the vaccine in just one single day,'' they announced from the Croatian Institute for Public Health.

Of course, coronavirus vaccination praise cannot be based purely on the events of a single day or event, and Health Minister Beros presented the Croatian Government with a plan according to which vaccination will be accelerated in the third phase and that it will be performed seven days a week for twelve hours per day. The capacities of the Ministry of Defense and the Red Cross will be mobilised, the number of vaccination sites will be increased, and family doctors will be tasked with registering their patients who haven't expressed the need for vaccination, and they will be called separately.

Although both those wanting the vaccine and doctors continue to point out significant issues with the functioning of the Cijepi se vaccine platform, Health Minister Beros is still claiming that the platform is working as it should be.

For more, make sure to follow our lifestyle page.

Friday, 30 April 2021

Health Minister Vili Beros Announces Changes in Croatian Vaccine Rollout

April the 30th, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beros has announced changes in the Croatian vaccine rollout following the embarrassing situation surrounding the Cijepi se vaccination portal and issues with turnout and vaccine arrivals.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the health minister has stated that so far, more than a million doses of vaccine have arrived in Croatia, with around 825,000 doses having been administered.

''Vaccination coverage greater than an average of 16 percent was achieved in the 65 and older age group. The highest coverage with the first dose is in Zagreb, standing at 18 percent, followed by Sisak-Moslavina County. The Croatian Institute of Public Health has issued recommendations to prevent the spread of the infection during election rallies. A revised list of countries for which special entry measures should be applied upon arrival in Croatia has also been published. India has now added to the special entry measure list,'' said Vili Beros.

"As part of the intensification of the Croatian vaccine rollout and its campaign, we sent a letter to the Ministry of Defense and the Red Cross for their active involvement. We've been asked if we can allow people to visit patients who are in critical conditions in hospital. The pressure on the hospital system isn't subsiding, but we're still managing to take care of the sick.

The arrival of a larger amount of vaccines makes it possible to intensify the Croatian vaccine rollout at mass vaccination points. By registering with a family doctor, by phone or by registering on the Cijepi se platform, I'd like to invite people to please register for vaccination,'' he added.

He emphasised that a sufficient number of vaccine doses has now been been provided.

“The Croatian Government has provided sufficient quantities of the coronavirus vaccine. The establishment of a clear chain of command is also crucial. The main coordinator is the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health. This is being achieved on the basis of new legal decisions such as the decision on the mandatory participation of public and private healthcare workers in the implementation of the Croatian vaccine rollout. Three new coordinators have been appointed - the first for the organisation of vaccination sites, the second for distribution and the third for IT support.

“The new operational plan for the vaccination of the working population is clearly elaborated in detail. Family physicians are required to take out a list of persons who haven't yet been vaccinated from their files and they'll be vaccinated through the use of call centres. Mobile teams have also been formed. Additional locations are being determined throughout Croatia,'' Beros said.

"Sufficient quantities of various vaccines will be provided at all of the locations. The precondition for issuing a vaccination certificate is the enrollment in a digital platform. It's clear that this is a preparation to dynamise the Croatian vaccine rollout, to make it an effort we stick to seven days a week," PM Andrej Plenkovic added.

On Thursday, Plenkovic pointed out that the number of newly infected people had begun to fall in recent days compared to the previous two weeks, but also said that there was still no relaxation in terms of the need to fully adhere to all current epidemiological measures.

"It's encouraging that our numbers have started to fall in recent days compared to the past two weeks, but we should continue to be maximally responsible because this is the best way to accelerate the decline in the number of infected and dead people,'' Plenkovic said during a government session.

''Each of us has an active role in this process and our behaviour can contribute to the protection of life and health, but also to the economy and jobs,'' he stressed.

This, he added, especially refers to the tourist season and he expressed satisfaction that the process of vaccinating tourist workers has already begun down in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, which should continue.

He also mentioned that last weekend, he asked the Minister of Health to prepare a concrete, updated action plan to intensify the Croatian vaccine rollout and reiterated that Croatia will have a total of at least 3.2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine available from the end of December to the end of June.

"All those who want to receive the vaccine will be able to get it," he assured, reiterating his appeal to residents, especially those with chronic diseases and the elderly, to get vaccinated at checkpoints that will be established or which already exist throughout Croatia.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border and quarantine rules to the locations of vaccination points and testing centres throughout the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Željko Reiner: "Opposition's Motion to Impeach Beroš Won't Succeed"

ZAGREB, 28 April, 2021 - Deputy Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner (HDZ) said on Wednesday that the opposition's motion to replace Health Minister Vili Beroš will not succeed just as previous motions to impeach ministers did not.

"Today, I heard that the opposition will submit a motion on 4 or 5 May to impeach Minister Beroš. Just like all the previous motions to impeach ministers, this one won't succeed either," said Reiner.

Reiner announced that he would put the motion for a no confidence vote on the Parliament's agenda within the deadline foreseen in the Standing Orders.

Asked whether Beroš can make order in the process of vaccination, Reiner said that it would be put in order in the shortest time possible and that sufficient quantities of vaccines had been obtained.

Reiner said that Beroš is doing his job quite satisfactorily and that he needs to be left to do it in peace to the end.

Asked about accusations from the We Can! party that paid seminars are held on information from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and that some ministers participate in them, Reiner said that any such accusations need to be substantiated with arguments. "I haven't heard a single argument. Those are empty phrases, like many others," he said.

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

Sunday, 25 April 2021

GLAS Party: Beroš Must Leave But His Departure Won't Solve Problems in Health System

April 25, 2021 - The parliamentary GLAS party said on Sunday that Health Minister Vili Beroš should step down due to the scandal with the cijepise.hr platform for registration for COVID-19 vaccination but warned that problems in the health system would not be solved with his departure alone.

"Minister Beroš, who has shamelessly awarded jobs worth millions of kuna to his friends amidst the horror in the health system he has caused, and who tells us that 'services say that everything is all right', refuses to assume any responsibility for the chaos caused by his vaccination platform," the party said in a press release.

As for the minister's statement that it was not true that the platform was not functioning but that rather it was not working as one would want, GLAS says that only Beroš knows the exact difference.

"People who registered for vaccination but whose registration was deleted by the platform, people above 65 and chronic patients who are still waiting for an invitation to vaccination, as well as general practitioners, are bearing the witness on a daily basis to how the platform functions or 'does not function the way we would want it to function'," GLAS said.

Calling for the minister's resignation, the party notes that one should not think that it would solve any of the problems in the health system or make it start functioning.

"Beroš is a minister because (PM Andrej) Plenković appointed him and responsibility lies primarily with the prime minister. As long as Plenković is Prime Minister and the HDZ is in power, we will keep sinking deeper and deeper."

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