MP Katarina Peovic from the left-wing Workers' Front (RF) on Thursday presented a motion in Parliament to regulate health care by prohibiting doctors who work in the public health care system from also working at private practices.
Peovic noted that under according to labor law any worker is allowed to work an extra eight hours a week or a maximum of 180 hours a year, and that that right is also regulated by the law on health care, with workers having to “conscientiously and completely fulfil their duties in their workplace in order to be given permission to take on a second job.” The system is commonly blamed for creating backlogs in the public health care system.
“Waiting lists (for specialist examinations) are just a part of the problem. There is also the problem of corruption in the health system, with doctors referring patients to their private practices, and vice versa. The problem also cannot be solved because it is not possible to publicly disclose a list of doctors who work both in private practices and in public hospitals,” Peovic said.
“The amendments announced by Health Minister, Vili Beros, will not yield any results. Lobbying groups are active and are working to prevent us from making public health care available to everyone again,” she said.
She added that 460 million kuna (€61 million) of public money is spent every year on contracts in which state-owned hospitals outsource some of their services to private medical practices – which in turn employ doctors who also work at public hospitals.
“We are paying the same people twice. And more than 56 percent of medical workers have incomes that above the median salary in Croatia,” she said.