Organization and Functioning of Primary Health Care for Pre-school Children in Croatia: A longitudinal study from 1995 to 2012
Primary health care for children in Croatia are always provided by primary paediatricians (PP) in the urban and by family doctors in rural areas. Similar to others, PPs have undergone through health care reforms during last decades. This study was undertaken in order to investigate the trends in organizational structure and functioning of the PPs, based on routinely collected data from Croatian Health Service Yearbooks, 1995 to 2012. The results have consistently shown a shortage of PPs in Croatia. The shortage obviously affects the average number of children per PP; number increased from 994 in 1995, to 1556 children in 2010, which was far above the standard. The shortage of PPs is also related to the high number of visits (30 to 40) per PP and per working day. The obtained results clearly show only the trends, therefore further research is needed for a full understanding of the PHC for pre-school children.
Key words: primary health care, pre-school children, primary paediatricians, organisation, Croatia
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