“Soon from an intensive care department at a one hospital in the country six nurses will have left. We know that you do not become a nurse in intensive care over night, so it means that these nurses with years of experience and knowledge have left and are not easily replaced,” Anica Prašnjak from the Union told daily Vecernji list, adding that the current situation in nursing and health care, is one which unfortunately, no one cares about.
Prašnjak, who has over 30 years experience as a nurse, says that for years now nurses rights have been reduced, with the system in a desperate state. Many nurses have chosen to seek employment abroad where both pay and conditions are more favourable. Prašnjak says the system in Croatia does not recognise those nurses who invest in higher education and training.
Head nurse at Zagreb’s KBC hospital, Brankica Rimac, said that this year between 30-40 nurses have gone overseas to work from the hospital. According to data from the Croatian Health Institute, in 2013 there were 26,413 nurses and technicians working in Croatia. Since Croatia joined the EU 91 doctors employed in the hospital system have fled abroad, with another 600 currently waiting to leave.
“What is particularly worrying is the these departures could go on, because in one year since Croatia’s membership in the EU, 600 Croatian doctors have completed the necessary documentation to go and work abroad”, said the Croatian Association of Hospital Patients (HUBOL). (pic Darla Carter)