Professor Stjepan Orešković from the Zagreb School of Medicine said that Croatia has nearly 3,500 COVID deaths per million, while in Finland this number is nearly ten times lower. He said that Croatia should look up to countries like that and their strategies.
“If you ask nurses why they don’t want to get vaccinated, you will get some very rational answers, such as fear for a future pregnancy. At the start of the pandemic, we should have answered their questions and led the vaccination campaign through them rather than through, for example, footballers,” Orešković said.
He said it was important not to take people who refuse to get vaccinated for fools because such an attitude would only diminish trust in the medical and pharmaceutical professions.
What nearly all European countries did at the start of the pandemic was close their borders, said Professor Iris Goldner Lang from the Zagreb School of Law, adding that several things should be considered when imposing restrictions.
“If we invoke health care, we should examine whether it can be achieved with less restrictive measures and ensure that such measures do not discriminate against anyone on the ground of nationality,” she said.
Tomislav Sokol, a member of the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament, supported the idea of joint purchases of expensive medicines. “Currently we have a situation where different member states pay different prices for the same medicines. However, we can certainly expect great opposition from the pharmaceutical industry.”
Sokol said that Croatia should use all available EU funding to improve the equipment of its hospitals and create better working conditions for its doctors so that they would no longer emigrate to western countries.
Student Mateja Lisjak said that based on what she had learned from other panelists, the situation in most of the health care systems of EU member states was bad. She concurred with Professor Orešković that a solution should be sought in learning from the countries that have been more successful in containing the pandemic.
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