With the „Days of Private Initiative in Healthcare Sector – Ten Days With No Waiting” project, the Croatian Chamber of Physicians aimed to present to citizens a range of high-quality services provided by private medical institutions.
From 5 to 15 March, the best private medical institutions around Croatia, including the Bagatin Policlinic, offered their medical services under more accessible financial terms. In an interview, Ognjen Bagatin, the managing director of the Bagatin Policlinic, spoke about the importance of the project.
The Croatian Chamber of Physicians launched the “Ten Days With No Waiting” drive. Data show that as many as 12,000 people are employed in the private medical sector, but the Croatian Health Insurance Institute (HZZO) spends just 1.8% of its budget on services of privately-owned institutions. What changes should be implemented?
I would put the focus on the digitalisation of the public sector and the improvements in organisation, i.e. all institutions should use the same program. These are not easy or cheap steps, but they are certainly right for the future of our healthcare sector and also one way to keep our great medical staff in Croatia.
As for the private medical sector, it has been growing by 10% a year for the last three years, and it will undoubtedly continue to grow in the future. The growth is helped by the fact that patients want better service, they want to receive it in time, and they want physicians to be at their service and not the other way around.
What we certainly have to work on in the future is the organisational culture in the whole healthcare sector, i.e. the sector’s values. We need synergy between the Ministry of Health, the Croatian Chamber of Physicians and the Croatian Chamber of Dental Medicine.
Together with our partner, the Croatian Chamber of Physicians, we have developed a vision for 2022:
– during this period, all 20,000 physicians in Croatia should attend at least one lecture on soft skills;
– during this period, all 30,000 nurses in Croatia should attend at least one lecture on soft skills;
– during this period, all 3,500 dental medicine physicians in Croatia should attend at least one lecture on soft skills;
– during this period, medicine and dental medicine colleges should make soft skills an obligatory course during studies;
– during this period, we should create three more competitive schools that will educate medical staff and help us implement this vision;
– during this period, we will create a soft skills international programme for physicians from all over the world in the English language.
Which projects and plans you have to improve the opportunities for private clinics in the healthcare system further?
The Bagatin policlinic is focused on several initiatives:
– the Bagatin Academy for development of soft skills in the whole healthcare sector;
– the development of medical tourism and the positioning of Croatia as the top destination in the region and Europe for medical tourism, in order to grow the BDP of this sector during the next 20-30 years;
– co-organisation of the Croatian Diaspora Congress in Osijek this year and making connections with our diaspora throughout the world.
Perceptions about private initiatives in the healthcare sector are usually negative. How can such attitude be changed?
All entrepreneurs put everything on the line when they start their business. My brothers and I are not an exception. We have mortgaged everything we had and invested it in this business. In addition to this risk, we have been working at minimum 70 to 80 hours a week for the last ten years in order to develop our policlinic in Croatia. We currently have loans with banks and leasing companies in the amount of several million kuna, and I am sure that owners of other private clinics are in a similar position. That is the price of entrepreneurship. I would like to commend all entrepreneurs in Croatia who are ready to risk everything in order to contribute to the development of our economy.
Translated from Jutarnji List.