Understanding Health Care in Croatia
US Citizens have always lived and invested abroad. One of the most favorite countries for these investors is Croatia. However, one thing stands in the way of investors daring to live abroad; understanding the healthcare system of the host country. The health care system of Croatia is based on the 1891 Hungarian-Croatian Parliament Act. It provides a mandatory insurance of all industry craftsmen and employees.
The residents are covered by a basic health insurance program according to optional insurance and statute administered by the Health Insurance Fund of Croatia. Croatia’s health system, therefore, manages in a way where the county governments own the health centers while the state owns the hospitals. The Health Minister is responsible for the national health plan, improvement of health care facilities, hygiene inspections, national healthcare education, healthcare legislation, setting drugs and food standards, overseeing healthcare training, and monitoring health care status.
Quality of Healthcare Services in Croatia
World Medical Assembly has ruled that healthcare institutions and physicians have a professional and ethical obligation to improve the quality of healthcare services and patient safety with the aim of improving population health. In Croatia, the Ministry of Health is responsible for the regulation of the quality of all health care institutions. Healthcare standards, therefore, looks satisfactory, with good accessibility to healthcare amenities in major cities and although the provision of health services in rural areas is low, it is still within the acceptable standards.
Life expectancy has been increasing gradually in Croatia though it is still lower than European Union average. Trends in physical inability are frightening as prevalence of obesity and overweight in the Croatian population has increased in the recent years. Latest reforms, however, aim at improving the Croatia’s health care system. A section of the reforms allows the county governments to organize tenders for the providing basic healthcare services. Nevertheless, the overall performance of Croatia’s health system is good due to availability of enough resources.
Additionally, there is an increase in the use of information technology in health care at the primary and secondary care levels. Technology assessment process summarizes information about the social, economic, ethical, and medical issues related to utilization of medical technology in a transparent, systematic, robust, and unbiased manner. This is put into effect with the ultimate goal of formulating effective and safe, patient-centered health policies, seeking to achieve the highest healthcare quality. Most importantly, a successful health preventive program in Croatia is the Mandatory Vaccination Program that was established in 1948. Moreover, one of the latest national public health developments is the detection of early cervical cancer; a program that was set in place in 2012.
The Cost of Health Services in Croatia
Croatia’s health care is affected by low funding due to the rising cost of health care. There is, however, enough supply of drugs within the public health care facilities. To deal with the situation of high costs, health care contributions are mandatory for every employed citizen through their employers. Those depending on these employees such as family members get their health care coverage from the contributions. Similarly, self-employed workers are required to contribute for healthcare. Those exempted from the contributions are Croatian citizens belonging to vulnerable groups. These groups include low income earners, those suffering from terminal diseases, and aged people.
The major method of assessing the value of new drugs and their potential prices in Croatia include current standards versus improved outcomes. These include standards such as better quality of life, efficiency, and reduced adverse effects. The government controls the prices of existing as well as new medicines. As a result, the compensated cost on the two lists; supplementary and basic, the manufacturer price merged with wholesale margins up to 8.5% taxes. The pharmacy markup per packet of medicine is constant. Although, market demand determines prices for non-reimbursed medicines such as over-the-counter presentations. Nonetheless, the share of public expenses for health care is presently 6.7% of GDP.
Health care in Croatia in Comparison to USA
There is a slight difference between the condition of healthcare in USA and Croatia.
- While average life expectancy in the USA is 79 years, it is approximately 77 years in Croatia.
- Infant mortality rate in the USA is 5.6 per 1000 live births while in Croatia it is 3.6 per 1000 live births.
- The rate of HIV/AIDS is 0.6% in the USA and 0.1% in Croatia.
- Adult obesity is at the rate of 33% in the USA. In Croatia it is at the rate of 24.2%.
- USA child obesity rate is 6%, while Croatian child obesity rate is 9.2%
- Male survival rate to age 65 in the USA is 81.0% while in Croatia it is 78.8%
- Female survival rate to age 65 in USA is 88.2% whereas in Croatia it is 90.6%.
Croatia’s health care system achieved extensive improvements in the recent past with the aim of making health care affordable and efficient. Healthcare, therefore, should not be an alarming issue if you plan to visit, live in, or invest in Croatia. Moreover, the Croatian Health Insurance Institute (HZZO) channeled large amounts of money to providing health care to about 4.33 million insured people yearly.