The Croatian hospital system needs reforming because it incurs HRK 1.2 billion (EUR 160 million) in debt annually, Health Minister Dario Nakic said during a visit to Dubrovnik on Sunday.
Asked to comment on the debt of the Dubrovnik General Hospital as a result of insufficient allocations from the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO), Nakic said that the Dubrovnik hospital was not the only one in such a position.
"In order to ensure proper healthcare, we need to increase allocations from the HZZO, and the only way to do that in the present situation is through borrowing. We need to reorganise the hospital system as a whole in order to have a stable and effective health system and to reduce unnecessary costs," the minister said.
Nakic met with the head of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Nikola Dobroslavic, on the occasion of the launch of a summer helicopter emergency medical service in Croatia's southernmost county, which will be in operation until October 1.
Dobroslavic said that this kind of service was necessary because of the territorial configuration of the county, the large number of islands it includes and the large number of tourists visiting the area in summer.
The Ministry of the Interior has designated one of its helicopters for this purpose. It will be stationed at Dubrovnik airport and will be used for the transport of emergency patients.