New Health Minister Repeals Cancer Treatment Program

Total Croatia News

Bad news for cancer sufferers in Croatia.

A program for seriously ill cancer patients, according to which it takes only 72 hours from diagnosis to beginning of treatment, will be repealed by the new government. “The so-called 72 Hour Program has never been implemented and therefore I actually cannot stop something which has not ever been properly done”, said new Health Minister Dario Nakić, reports on February 14, 2016.

“These are not young 20-year-old patients. These are older cancer patients who are very often also heart patients with severe cardiac illnesses, patients with kidney disease, lung disease, diabetes… You have to prepare them prior to the operation so that nothing bad would happen”, said Nakić.

Vesna Ramljak, president of the Europa Donna Association, knows from personal experience how effective the 72 Hour Program was. “Since the day they realize they have cancer, for each patient it is extremely important to start treatment as soon as possible. Even if it is impossible to go to operation within 72 hours, because it is not feasible for all patients, it is very important that within 72 hours patients get their treatment plans. Patients feel calmer and better if they know they would be operated on very soon”, said Ramljak, adding that many women suffering from breast cancer were included in the program.

“They were thrilled, because not only were they provided with rapid diagnosis in just one day, but within three days they were operated on and mentally they were in much better shape than some other patients who had to wait longer”, added Ramljak.

Former Assistant Minister Dragan Korolija Marinić said that the program was indeed implemented, which is confirmed by the figures. “From April to December last year, we treated about 2,300 patients in five major Croatian hospitals”, said Korolija Marinić.

“I have no comment because I am angry and sad. I will just say that the program was originally started at the Vinogradska Hospital in Zagreb when HDZ was in government, and we have just expanded it to the whole country as a good practice. An expert government? Forgive them, Lord, for they do not know what they are doing”, wrote former Health Minister Siniša Varga on his Facebook profile.


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