(1/692) Reform of health insurance in Croatia.

After democratic changes in 1990 and the declaration of independence in 1991, Croatia inherited an archaic system of economy, similar to all the other post-communist countries, which had especially negative effects on the health system. Health services were divided into 113 independent offices with their own local rules; they could not truly support the health care system, which gradually stagnated, both organizationally and technologically. Such an administrative system devoured 17.5% of the total funds, and primary care used only 10.3% of this. Despite the costly hospital medicine the entire system was financed with US$300 per citizen. The system was functioning only because of professionalism and enthusiasm of well-educated medical personnel. Such health policy had a negative effect on all levels of the system, with long-term consequences. The new health insurance system instituted a standard of 1,700 insureds per family medicine team, reducing hospital capacities to 3.8 beds per 1,000 citizens for acute illnesses. Computerization of the system makes possible the transparency of accounting income and expenses. In a relatively short period, in spite of the war, and in a complex, socially and ethically delicate area, Croatian Health Insurance Institute has successfully carried out the rationalization and control of spending, without lowering the level of health care or negatively influencing the vital statistics data.  (+info)

(2/692) Out-of-pocket payments for health care in Croatia: implications for equity.

AIM: To assess the distribution of out-of-pocket payments for health care in Croatia by income groups. METHODS: The study is based on data from 1994 out-of-pocket health expenditure survey carried out through interviews of randomly selected adults in two major cities of Croatia, Zagreb and Split. We analyzed co-payments for public health care services and other payments related to private practice, non-prescription medicaments, or informal payments to health care providers. Spending of each income group was analyzed as a share of its income and as proportion of total payments. RESULTS: We found an inequitable pattern of out-of-pocket health care payments. Burden of out-of-pocket expenditure was not equally distributed among income groups, with persons from the low income group paying about six times larger share of their income than the high income group. When we compared the proportions of income received by different groups with the proportions of their payments, the results indicated (again) that the low income persons payed proportionally more than those with high income. CONCLUSION: Distribution of out-of-pocket payments in Croatia is regressive, with a greater burden falling on lower income persons. Possible introduction of the mix of health care financing would need reconsideration of the policy measures to balance equity and efficiency.  (+info)

(3/692) Computing for the next millennium.

Computer technology has changed our lives, even that of physicians. In a few years time, a physician can expect to have a new tool by the bedside: a hand-held computer small enough to put into a pocket and powerful enough for all everyday activities, including highly specialized and sophisticated activities such as prevention of adverse drug reactions. The Croatian Academic and Research Network (CARNet) was crucial in bringing the benefits of the information technology to the Croatian scientists. At the Split University School of Medicine, we started the Virtual Medical School project, which now also includes the Mostar University School of Medicine in neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina. Virtual Medical School aims to promote free dissemination of medical knowledge by creating medical education network as a gateway to the Internet for health care professionals.  (+info)

(4/692) Computer-based teaching of pathology at the Zagreb University School of Medicine.

AIM: To review the experience gained in transferring USA computer-based teaching system of medical school pathology to Croatia. METHODS: Computer-based teaching program of pathology developed at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas, USA, was transferred to the University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia. The experimental group of 49 students was enrolled into this computer-based program. Their performance was compared with that of 195 classmates enrolled in the standard course. Objective (performance on the examinations) and subjective data (students' interviews and written evaluations of the course) were analyzed. RESULTS: The computer program was operational 5 months from the inception of the transfer. It was well received by the students, even though many initially complained that it required more effort and a continuous commitment. The major problems concerned scheduling, reflecting various requirements i mposed on students by other departments teaching in parallel with the Pathology course. Objective data gathered so far indicate that the students enrolled in the computer-based program took the first midterm examination at a significantly higher rate than the rest of the class (p<0.001), and passed the examination with significantly better grades (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Computer-based teaching programs can be readily transferred to other countries. Full implementation of the program, however, may require significant changes in the existing curriculum in the medical school to which such a program has been transferred or considerable modifications in the program adopted for transfer. It appears that the students enrolled in the computer-based program perform better than students in the standard pathology course.  (+info)

(5/692) Challenge of Goodness II: new humanitarian technology, developed in croatia and bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991-1995, and applied and evaluated in Kosovo 1999.

This paper presents improvements of the humanitarian proposals of the Challenge of Goodness project published earlier (1). In 1999 Kosovo crisis, these proposals were checked in practice. The priority was again on the practical intervention - helping people directly - to prevent, stop, and ease suffering. Kosovo experience also prompted us to modify the concept of the Challenge of Goodness. It should include research and education (1. redefinition of health, 2. confronting genocide, 3. university studies and education, and 4. collecting experience); evaluation (1. Red Cross forum, 2. organization and technology assessment, 3. Open Hand - Experience of Good People); activities in different stages of war or conflict in: 1. prevention (right to a home, Hate Watch, early warning), 2. duration (refugee camps, prisoners-of-war camps, global hospital, minorities), 3. end of conflict (planned, organized, and evaluated protection), 4. post conflict (remaini ng and abandoned populations, prisoners of war and missing persons, civilian participation, return, and renewal). Effectiveness of humanitarian intervention may be performed by politicians, soldiers, humanitarian workers, and volunteers, but the responsibility lies on science. Science must objectively collect data, develop hypotheses, check them in practice, allow education, and be the force of good, upon which everybody can rely. Never since the World War II has anybody in Europe suffered in war and conflict so much as peoples in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. We should search for the meaning of their suffering, and develop new knowledge and technology of peace.  (+info)

(6/692) Building peace from scratch: some theoretical and technological aspects.

A peace-building process is based on activity, acceptance, understanding of political reality, communication, and empowerment. Acceptance means accepting everybody as he or she is and let each know it. This is at the heart of peace work, it is the prerequisite for effective communication, and includes accepting other even in cases of severe disagreement. Peace work requires both an understanding of political reality and the expression of one's own political opinion. Acceptance and the expression of political opinion are not at variance but complementary. Combining acceptance and understanding of the political context provides hope for real communication in which messages are both sent and received, with appreciation and interest. Empowerment implies overcoming of the feeling of powerlessness, often present in conflict by all sides and in all social groups. It includes recovery of self-respect and respect for others. Education and economic independence are important facets of the empowerment concept. Essential principles of peace-building process are responsibility, solidarity, cooperation, and nonviolence. Responsibility encompasses caring for human rights, the suffering of others, and for consequences of our own intended and unintended actions. Solidarity allows learning through listening and understanding. Even with the best intentions on both sides, cooperation may be difficult and painful. Nonviolence is a way of life.  (+info)

(7/692) Aftermath of war experience: impact of anxiety and aggressive feelings on the group and the therapist.

AIM: Analysis of some anxious and aggressive features stemming from the highly traumatic war experiences and having as a consequence chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). METHOD: Group psychotherapy was applied as a therapeutic approach of choice. RESULTS: During the psychotherapeutic process, the possibility to name and express anxiety and aggressiveness was uncovered not only as the sequels of highly traumatic war experiences but even the transgenerational transmission of frustrations and aggressive feelings. These features have constantly very strong influence on the therapist's countertransference. Some of the most prominent characteristics of these processes are described through clinical vignettes. CONCLUSION: Longer group psychotherapy is required for patients suffering from serious PTSD to develop the possibility to externalize their deep traumas and to work them through in order to reestablish connections with everyday life. During that process, the countertransferential issues disclose the most important traumatic features and encapsulations, and indicate the main topics to be addressed in patients and the therapist as well.  (+info)

(8/692) Countertransference problems in the treatment of a mixed group of war veterans and female partners of war veterans.

AIM: Analysis of countertransference problems in the treatment of a heterogeneous group of war veterans. METHOD: The method used in this work was psychodynamic clinical observation and analysis of countertransference phenomena in group therapy. RESULTS: In the beginning of our work, we faced with a regressive group, which was behaving as it was re-born. The leading subject in the group was aggression and the need for hospitalization to protect them and their environment from their violence. With the development of group processes, a feeling of helplessness and lack of perspective appeared, together with suicidal ideas, which, because of the development of group cohesion and trust, could be openly discussed. With time, the group became a transitional object for its members, an object that gave them a feeling of safety but also a feeling of dependence. CONCLUSION: The role of the therapist is to support group members in becoming independent. The therapist's function is in controlling, containing, and analyzing of the destructive, regressive part and in encouraging the healthy parts of the patient. With the integration of good therapeutic process, the healthy parts of the patient gain control over his or her regressive parts.  (+info)