Health Minister Vili Beros on Sunday sent an open letter to employees in the healthcare system, announcing that as of October 1, doctors, nurses, and non-medical staff will be able to come in to work only if they have been vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19, or can present a negative test.
“Our common professional and human obligation, our vocation and calling, and above all our mission is to help people protect their health, and when disease threatens them, it is up to us to professionally and responsibly take care of them and treat them. We have accepted this obligation and must adapt the organisation of the health system and our daily work to the circumstances and conditions in which we live and act,” Beros said in the open letter.
The autumn comes with a new wave of the epidemic, with COVID infection rates on the rise, Beros added, warning that the number of hospitalisations is rising, as well as the death rate.
“Unfortunately, the virus finds its new victims mainly among the unvaccinated. Citizens who have recovered from the infections and those who have been inoculated have so far successfully been resisting the challenges of the infection or more severe cases of the infection if they contract the virus. There is also an increasing number of young people among the infected. All of this is a warning that all the dangers of the infection have not gone away,” he said.
Vaccination is not mandatory in Croatia at the moment, he added, saying that the government’s position was that vaccination is an individual decision.
“Everyone must be aware of the consequences of their decision and accept the risks the infection carries,” he said.
For everyone in the health system, he stressed, patients and their protection come first.
“Hospitals are for getting treated, not getting infected. That is the main reason we are introducing effective measures to ensure the greatest possible protection for every employee and every patient,” he underscored.