Parents of Island Children with Developmental Problems Demand Free Ferry Transport

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 6, 2019 – Around 300 protesters rallied in Supetar on the southern island of Brač on Saturday demanding free ferry transport for children with developmental problems who live on islands and receive their therapy on the mainland.

The protesters blocked the passage of passengers and vehicles disembarking a ferry that arrived from Split for 120 seconds as a warning that parents from Brač who have children with developmental problems have been fighting for their children’s right to free ferry transport for 120 months.

The leader of the local association of parents whose children have developmental problems, Maja Bonačić-Proti, said that they had been given promises many times that the relevant legislation would be amended to secure the right to free ferry transport for their children.

Even if amendments to that effect are put forward in the parliament in October, it will take three to six months to adopt them, she said.

“In the meantime, our costs are growing bigger and bigger. There has been enough of waiting, we want the relevant legal amendment be adopted under fast-track procedure so that we can get not only the right to free ferry transport, but also the possibility to live in dignity,” she said.

A member of the association, Mate Mladin, said that there were 83 children with developmental problems on central Dalmatian islands and that around 300 children with developmental problems were estimated to live on all Croatian islands.

He said that a return ferry ticket from Brač to Split cost 200 kuna (approx. 27 euros), including fare car transport, which he said was essential for parents with children with developmental problems.

Since some of the children need to receive therapy several times a week, their ferry costs exceed 3,000 kuna (405.40 euro) a month, he said, adding that the cost of ferry transport was even higher for people who lived on the more remote islands.

A large number of parents whose children have developmental problems barely cover their basic living costs, he said.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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