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Croatia's Cancer Mortality Concerns: SDP Highlights Issues with Healthcare Funding and Privatization Canva

Croatia's Cancer Mortality Concerns: SDP Highlights Issues with Healthcare Funding and Privatization

Written by  Feb 05, 2024

On the occasion of World Cancer Day, members of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) warned on Sunday that Croatia ranks second in the EU in cancer mortality. They criticized the slow resolution of issues for oncology patients by the health administration, accusing the government of weakening public healthcare and quietly privatizing it.

"According to recent reports, Croatia ranks second in cancer mortality in the EU. We allocate only 26% of healthcare funds to innovative drugs and the provision of quality oncological care, while most EU countries invest from 50 to 52%, spending more on treating the consequences of late-detected cancer," said SDP Member of Parliament and physician Andreja Marić at a press conference.
They highlighted concerns about over 800 thousand citizens still waiting for healthcare services, a shortage of family medicine doctors, and the devastation of primary healthcare. Marić emphasized that over the next five years, over 800 family medicine doctors will retire, leaving over a million citizens without their family doctor.

Marić accused Health Minister Vili Beroš of redirecting funds to private entities instead of strengthening the public healthcare system, investing in oncology excellence centers on time, and strengthening the Tumor Clinic, which should be the main institution.

She criticized the government for declaring the private clinic Medikol a strategic project six to seven months ago while neglecting the public healthcare system, lacking equipment and professionals, and not investing in infrastructure.

Despite having 85 million euros available for healthcare from the EU, only 55.4 million euros were utilized. Marić questioned the whereabouts of the remaining 30 million euros.

"Experts in the oncological care system question if we have enough personnel trained to operate the 21 linear accelerators that hospitals will receive. We are not introducing sophisticated oncological drugs, lagging behind in innovative medications, which are reasons for our poor cancer mortality rates," she assessed.

The leader of the SDP in Zagreb and the head of the Zagreb Institute of Public Health, Branko Kolarić, claimed that the government is weakening the public healthcare system, leading to private institutions raising prices. He warned of a system similar to the U.S., where without robust private health insurance, individuals face bankruptcy when diagnosed with cancer.

He accused the government of quietly working on the privatization of the system, depleting and weakening the public part of the system, but the SDP vowed to put an end to it.

Regarding oncology patients, he believes that SDP's "72 Hours" program should be reinstated, ensuring that from the detection of a malignant disease, no more than 72 hours should pass until the start of treatment.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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