24% fewer primary care doctors in 5 years in Croatia
The number of physicians in primary health care in Croatia will reduce by 24% in the next five years, making work unfeasible. The number of nurses will drop by 25% owing to retirement and lack of new employees, according to the medical and nursing chambers.
In primary care, where there are just 236 residents, the number of physicians is predicted to shrink by 24% in the next five years. Only 131 physicians are trained as family doctors, including 122 team leaders. In five years, 27% fewer physicians will practise this specialty. 733 of the 2,213 family physicians are over 60, so if nothing is done, the situation would be insufferable in five years, HLK chief Kreimir Lueti stated at the MedMed conference in Gronjan.
One-third of 248 paediatricians will retire in the next five years, reducing their number by 13%. The number of gynaecologists will shrink by 10%. 1,021 physicians, on average 36 years old, have fled Croatia owing to the coronavirus epidemic. Most who left today work in Germany, Britain, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, and Austria. 839 physicians have requested foreign work papers.
Lueti believes Croatia’s health system needs a human resources management infrastructure. The HLK has demanded a collective branch agreement, a pay legislation, and a reorganisation of specialist training for years. Three million hours of overtime are indicative of the medical shortage, he argues.
The Croatian Nursing Council estimates that 5,500 to 7,000 nurses will retire in the next five
years. Health and social welfare employ 38,500 nurses. The Council advocates for quickly expanding enrollment quotas for nurses by at least 50% and supporting the hiring of caretakers to assist with a continual 25% shortfall of nurses, as well as improving their remuneration and securing shortage-related benefits.
“In five years, there will be 25% fewer nurses. Enrollment quotas are excessively low;
therefore we’ve urged the Education Ministry to raise them.” Mario Gazdi, council head said.