Alarming State of Croatian Healthcare – Young Doctors Don’t Bother Staying

Katarina Anđelković

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As Poslovni writes, if al the older doctors were to retire at this moment, around 300 thousand citizens would be left without their chosen family medicine doctor. Nikolić noted that Croatia is threatened with the collapse of the entire healthcare system.

She believes that young doctors stay away from family medicine because they have the lowest salaries and benefits in the system.

This can best be seen in the example of Đakovo. The Trnava Municipality, which consists of six villages, according to the last population census has about 1,300 inhabitants, and has not had a family doctor for a year, says Nikolić.

She also stated that every doctor needs to be given the opportunity to choose whether they want to work in a health center or in a private practice, but to still be contractually bound by the HZZO, with clearly set rules and without administrative obstacles.

She finds it necessary to promote family medicine during studies, and the local self-government should, she says, find ways to stimulate young people to come and work with them through scholarships and housing subsidies.

Hajduković: Mobile clinics and pharmacies would help older citizens

“Pediatricians are retiring, and they don’t have adequate replacements. The entire region of Miholjac depends on one pediatrician who works part-time while in retirement, reminds parliament member and party vice-president Domagoj Hajduković.

He also notes that there is a big problem with internships that must be completed in order to get a work license and so that doctors can enter the labour market.

The state does not provide it to the required extent, it takes a few years and then many decide to leave Croatia, Hajduković points out. He adds that there are currently around 3,000 people waiting for an internship, and that the minister has announced that only 1,500 places will be secured in 2023. He sees the basic problem in the fact that the state did not provide enough money so that everyone could complete the internship within a reasonable time.

Hajduković also states that access to health care for many elderly citizens is limited and that this problem could be partially solved by establishing mobile clinics, palliative clinics and mobile pharmacies that would be part of the Health Centers of local and regional self-government units.

These are projects that literally mean life for the rural area, and such problems should have been solved by the so-called project Slavonia and European money, Hajduković concluded.

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