Specialty Hospital Medico in Rijeka First in Croatia to Obtain AACI Certificate of Excellence

Total Croatia News

Fedor Dorčić Denis Kovačić Nevenka Kovačić Trpimir Goluža

Croatia is steadily becoming one of the leading destinations for health tourism, and a clinic holding the AACI certificate for excellence is a valuable incentive for further development of this tourism segment

The Specialty Hospital Medico in Rijeka is widely known for their motto ‘in one day, at one place’ – and they stay true to their word. Due to an incredible range of diagnostic services and medical treatments provided in a three-floor polyclinic in the centre of the city, Medico has a respectable reputation both locally and among patients visiting from abroad.

Medico was recently awarded the AACI certificate for clinical excellence, becoming the first health clinic in Croatia – both in the public and the private sector – to hold this prestigious title. AACI (American Accreditation Commision International) is one of the world’s most renowned organisations that provide clinical accreditation which stands as a guarantee of high-quality medical services, health care and patient safety in all certified institutions.

The importance of such an accreditation goes far beyond Medico’s reputation and profit. As the AACI certificate is a precondition for most foreign insurance companies to reimburse the medical expenses of patients who seek treatment outside of their home country, this international accreditation is a valuable incentive for Croatia’s health tourism development.

It’s expected for medical tourism to become one of the leading reasons for travel in the coming years, and to make for a staggering 22% of world’s GDP by 2030. In a country that’s steadily becoming one of the leading destinations for health tourism, an international accreditation of this kind opens the door for an increase in visitors coming to Croatia with the sole goal of getting medical treatment.

Fedor Dorčić Denis Kovačić Nevenka Kovačić Trpimir Goluža 

At the press conference held in Medico on June 14, 2017, President of the Croatian Medical Chamber (CMC) Trpimir Goluža MD stated the accreditation is a confirmation of quality standards that guarantee a high level of safety for all patients. “This isn’t just an important day for the private medical sector in Croatia, but for the health care system in its entirety. Medico now sets new standards for all health institutions in the country. The message of this accomplishment is that it’s possible to achieve the highest criteria if you commit to hard work and have the will to follow your vision”, said Goluža, congratulating Medico in the name of the CMC.

The AACI accreditation process focuses on management standards (following rules and regulations, risk management), patient care standards (right to information, right to appeal, standards for surgical procedures) and other services (food and nutritional care, safety, data protection). Once a health institution applies for AACI accreditation, they need to meet a total of 154 parameters to obtain the certificate, followed by a regular annual AACI inspection to ensure the clinic retains the same level of standards.

Head of the Specialty Hospital Medico Nevenka Kovač MD remarked the development of health tourism will soon be possible only with such international certificates that present a guarantee of quality, thus becoming a crucial factor for the patients in their choice of destination. She also stated it was time to stop the division of public and private sectors in medicine. “The patients don’t care who owns the hospital, they care about getting quality treatment. We had enough divisions, it’s time to work together”, she said.

Assistant Minister of Health Denis Kovačić MD called the certificate a foundation of successful further development of Croatian medical and tourist systems that dispose of a highly qualified professional staff and offer quality care at significantly lower prices than abroad. “The future of health tourism in Croatia lies in turning to the market, so the patients can be provided not only with medical treatment, but with necessary commercial content as well”, said Kovačić.

Let’s hope for other health institutions in Croatia to follow Medico’s example. As Head of the hospital Kovač said: “We met our goal, and now we’re setting the bar a little bit higher.”



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