Family Doctors Dismiss Health Minister’s Accusations

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KOHOM says in a statement that it most strongly condemns the part of the draft reform measures, presented by the minister at a session of the parliamentary health and social policy committee, which concern primary health care.

Beroš said a major anomaly in primary health care was “the referral of non-emergency patients to hospital emergency services” and “an inadequate response by primary health care doctors” to the call to join mobile teams for the vaccination of bedridden or severely ill people.

Dismissing the minister’s statements as “utter lies”, KOHOM says that Beroš is attempting to blame huge omissions in the functioning of the health system on family doctors.

“Family doctors are definitely well educated and trained to recognise the severity of a patient’s condition and they most certainly do not refer patients just because they want to make their colleagues’ work harder but do so exclusively in line with professional rules.”

KOHOM recalls that any person with health concerns can go to a hospital emergency service on their own because that way they can do tests quickly and get a diagnosis.

“Patients go to hospital emergency services on their own because otherwise they have to wait for individual diagnostic procedures for months, sometimes six months or a year,” KOHOM says, adding that Beroš and his predecessors are the only ones to blame for that “because they did not know how to or did not want to reduce waiting lists for specialist examinations.”

As for the minister’s remark that not enough family doctors had applied to join mobile vaccination teams in Zagreb, KOHOM says that it called on the minister in December 2020 to form mobile teams and that family doctors at the time made themselves available.

Recalling that Beroš sent an instruction for public health institutes to form mobile teams to vaccinate bedridden or seriously ill patients in situations where family doctors cannot do it, KOHOM says that mobile teams in Zagreb were not formed.

Those teams function, and they function quite well, only in Split-Dalmatia County, KOHOM says, claiming that vaccination is almost entirely the responsibility of family doctors and calling on the minister to “finally organise effective mass vaccination and the system of which he is in charge.”

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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