Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Davor Bernardic on Tuesday presented his party's proposal for the reform of the healthcare system, which, he said, was on the brink of collapse and was undergoing "creeping privatisation".
Apart from Bernardic, also some of the party officials who were included in the preparation of the SDP proposal for the overhaul of the healthcare system, spoke about the SDP healthcare plank which was for the first time outlined on 13 November last year.
Bernardic said that debts in the system soared to record high levels, threatening to undermine the network of healthcare services.
Low wages and inadequate working conditions make medical workers leave Croatia, he said adding that the country is short of over 10,000 nurses.
All that affects the capacities of hospitals and is detrimental to the citizens, he said.
In the context of long waiting list for some of medical exams, the SDP chief said that patients therefore opt for seeking services in private clinics, which actually constitutes "a creeping privatisation" of the public health system.
SDP plank "Health on Healthy Footing"
The party's healthcare agenda called "Health on Healthy Footing" is aimed at making access to public healthcare services easy for every citizen and rendering the healthcare system financially viable, according to the authors of the paper.
The plank, which was outlined 10 months ago, envisages the prolongation of hospital working hours after 4 p.m. for non-urgent patients too, the centralisation of public procurement, the compulsory monitory of the outcome of treatments, the introduction of a helicopter patient service throughout the country, the exemption of vulnerable groups in society from paying health contribution and the appropriate remuneration of medical staff.