Croatia: Health system review

TitleCroatia: Health system review
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsVoncina L, Jemiai N, Merkur S, Golna C, Maeda A, Chao S, Dzakula A
Secondary AuthorsMossialos E, Busse R, Figueras J, McKee M, Saltman R
Series TitleHealth Systems in Transition
Volume8 (7)
Number of Pages108 p.
PublisherWHO Regional Office for Europe
KeywordsCroatia; Delivery of health Care; Evaluation Studies; Financing, Health; Health care Reform; Health System Plans
AbstractThe Health Systems in Transition (HiT) profiles are country-based reports that provide a detailed description of a health system and of policy initiatives in progress or under development. HiTs examine different approaches to the organization, financing and delivery of health services and the role of the main actors in health systems; describe the institutional framework, process, content and implementation of health and health care policies; and highlight challenges and areas that require more in-depth analysis. Croatia is a European country in transition with a population of 4.4 million. The population generally enjoys good health and an increasing life expectancy of less than three years below the European Union (EU) average. Croatia’s health system is based on the principles of inclusivity, continuity and accessibility. Croatia spends a relatively high share of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health. Public funds for health care originate from two main sources: contributions for mandatory health insurance (predominantly) and funds collected by general taxation. The network of health care providers is organized in a way that makes it accessible to all citizens. The Croatian health system has good health outcomes in relation to countries at comparable income levels. Provision and funding of services are largely public, although private providers and insurers also increasingly operate in the market. Since 1991, the Croatian health system has been subject to a range of organizational reforms. These have mostly relied on decreasing public and increasing private expenditure in the system. While reforms have, up to a point, managed to decrease public spending on health care, they have failed to adequately address issues such as growing arrears and productivity. Important actions involving strengthening policy, monitoring, regulation and more advanced supply-side-oriented tools remain to be prioritized and implemented.