Demography Minister Murganić says that children will be the priority for the government.
Minister of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy Nada Murganić visited on Sunday the “Sestre Milosrdnice” Clinical Hospital Centre in Zagreb, where she gave gifts to the first baby born in the New Year. She said that just the increase of parental benefits will not improve demographic situation in Croatia, which needed clear population policies and an environment in which children will be a priority, reports tportal.hr on January 1, 2017.
“We all want to have a better regulated demographic society, and my Ministry will promote such a society in its plans and programmes. It is not possible for any single measure, as well as all the measures implemented during a term of just one government, to be enough for revitalization of our demographic situation”, said Murganić to reporters.
Asked whether the mothers who are now at the maternity ward would receive increased parental benefits, Minister Murganić replied in the affirmative given that the legislative amendments should enter the parliamentary procedure in the first half of 2017. “On 1 July, a law will enter into force which will bring financial relief to families who have babies, since children born on 1 January will turn six months on 30 June, and the second six months of parental allowances will be increased from the current 2,660 kuna to 4,000 kuna”, she explained.
She added that, in addition to this increase, Croatia also needed a number of other measures. “These are measures which should encourage the harmonization of family and work life, measures with which we would, together with local communities, open institutions which would provide the parents help to educate their children, not only when they are at work, but also at other times”, she said.
Asked about 1,000 euros for each newborn child, which HDZ promised during the election campaign, Murganić said that the allowance for each newborn child, albeit in a smaller amount, already existed. “Croatian Institute for Health Insurance pays 2,380 kuna per child, and it is not impossible that this allowance could be increased”, said Murganić.
In accordance with the national demographic strategy, the Minister will this year propose specific measures, although she did not want to reveal any details. “Without analysis and financial calculations, until everything is agreed, it is not proper to speak in advance what could happen”, said Murganić.
The first baby born this year at the Clinical Hospital Centre was Luka Bosančić, born this morning at half past seven. He weighs 3,700 grams, he is 61 centimetres long and is the third child of his mother Matea.
Head of the Department of Obstetrics Krunoslav Kuna informed journalists about good statistics of his hospital. “Although we have had in recent years a continuing decline in the number of newborns in Croatia, at our maternity ward in the last seven to eight years we have about 3,000 births a year, and in 2016 we had nearly one hundred more babies born than the year before”, he said.