The Child Health Care System of Croatia

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Abstract

The Republic of Croatia is a Parliamentary Republic with a population of 4.2 million people that sits on the Adriatic coast within Central Europe. Gross domestic product is approximately 60% of the European Union average, which in turn, limits health service spending. The health system is funded through universal health insurance administered by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund based on the principles of social solidarity and reciprocity. The children of Croatia are guaranteed access to universal primary, hospital, and specialist care provided by a network of health institutions. Pediatricians and school medicine specialists provide comprehensive preventive health care for both preschool and school-aged children. Despite the Croatian War of Independence in the late 20th century, indicators of child health and measures of health service delivery to children and families are steadily improving. However, similar to many European countries, Croatia is experiencing a rise in the “new morbidities” and is responding to these new challenges through a whole society approach to promote healthy lifestyles and insure good quality of life for children.

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