Civil Society Group Calls for Clear, Reasonable Criteria for Hospital Visits

Total Croatia News



ZAGREB, Aug 11, 2020 – The civic initiative “Dad Roberto and dad Ivan” on Tuesday asked the Health Ministry, the national COVID-19 response team and experts to adopt clear and reasonable, country-wide criteria to enable citizens to spend more time with their hospitalised family members.

The measure that is currently in force, allowing a parent to spend 15 minutes with their hospitalised child or a family member to visit a relative accommodated in a nursing home or a home for persons with disabilities for the same period of time, is not acceptable, says the initiative, referring to what it describes as scientifically established facts and international documents on the importance of physical contact for children’s physical well-being and mental health.

The initiative says that Health Ministry officials had informed it that a meeting of its expert group on the topic could be held in two weeks’ time at the earliest due to current holidays.

The initiative considers the answer unacceptable and wants the expert group to hold a conference call within the next 24 or 48 hours as the government used to do during the lockdown caused by the coronavirus epidemic, in order to revise the existing measure.

“We believe and hope that the benefit of children, elderly people and persons with disabilities is our common interest,” the group says, calling on the health minister and experts to adopt clear and reasonable, country-wide criteria for visits by family members to their dearest ones.

The Health Ministry on Monday expressed understanding for the feelings of parents whose children are hospitalised, noting that the measure limiting the duration of visits to hospitals and nursing homes is currently necessary to protect everyone’s health.

The initiative was formed by two fathers, Ivan Pokupec and Roberto Mates, who started camping outside Zagreb’s Clinic for Children’s Diseases where their children are hospitalised in protest at the decision to allow parents to visit their children for only 15 minutes.

The two men, who have said that they plan to stay outside the hospital until the health minister gives a new, clear instruction to hospitals, were joined on Monday by a dozen other parents.


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