Another day, another absurd situation in The Beautiful Croatia.
Close to 40.000 people living in Ivanec don’t have emergency medical team at their disposal anymore, one that used to treat patients in case resident doctors were in the field, reports RTL Vijesti on October 1, 2017.
Instead of seeking help in their hometown, residents of Ivanec now need to travel to the ambulance in Varaždin that’s located 20 kilometres away. The team comprised of a nurse and a medical technician who were on call for emergency cases is gone, leaving only a note on the doors of the ambulance in Ivanec saying doctors are not present in the clinic at the moment. The news even caught the mayor of Ivanec off guard.
“I was taken aback by the news when the citizens started to send in enquiries to the official Facebook page of Ivanec town, so I sent a letter myself, asking the director of the Department of Emergency Medicine in Varaždin for an explanation. I received an answer stating that 24-hour attendance has been revoked from October 1”, said Milorad Batinić, Mayor of Ivanec.
According to the Croatian Health Insurance Fund, the nurse and the technician who stopped people from bleeding and mended their wounds aren’t needed anymore. There is a medical team working at the ambulance, but if they go out into the field, the ambulance doors in Ivanec remain closed. The biggest absurdity of them all is that, in such cases, you need to ask a machine for help: an intercommunication system that announces your upcoming visit to the ambulance in Varaždin.
Such a situation seriously endangers lives of 37.000 residents of Ivanec and its wider area. If you get sick in Bednja, for example, you first need to drive 30 kilometres to Ivanec, buzz the intercom and then get to Varaždin. People are, of course, appalled.
“This is an absolute disgrace and I think something like this shouldn’t be allowed to happen. If I didn’t manage to get to the ambulance [in Ivanec]on time ten years ago, my child wouldn’t be alive anymore. It was suffocating, and I wouldn’t have arrived to Varaždin quickly enough”, said Maja from Ivanec.
Mayor Batinić sent a request to Minister of Health Milan Kujundžić, asking to find a solution that would benefit everybody without depriving citizens of their legal right to medical care. ‘Give us our nurse and technician back’ isn’t just a residents’ appeal – it is also a literal cry for help.
Translation of excerpts from RTL Vijesti.