By Sylvain GIRAUD, Head of Unit D1 Strategy and International, Directorate D Health Systems and Products, Directorate General for Health and Consumers, European Commission
On 1 July 2013, Croatia will join the EU as 28th European Union Member. The 10 year long enlargement process steered Croatia to incorporate EU public health legislation, guidelines and best practices.
Since Croatia applied for EU membership, public health reforms have materialised through EU negotiations. Public health experts acquired technical knowledge and skills to implement the EU public health acquis through enlargement funding. Facilities for handling blood, tissues and cells are being transformed according to EU technical requirements. Further administrative capacity strengthening should improve health management and meet requirements for EU cooperation.
Croatia upgraded its organ donation and transplantation system based on EU standards of quality and safety. As a result, Croatia, a Eurotransplant member, now plays a leading role in the region and can be considered one the world leaders for transplantation of organs per capita.
Implementation of Transition Facility Funding will enhance further improvements in implementing national cancer screening programmes and in optimising community health care for people with mental health disorders.
The National Health Care Strategy foresees further improvements to the healthcare system. As an EU Member, Croatia will receive EU Structural Funding to invest in the sustainability of their health system.
DG Health and Consumers is eager to welcome Croatia as a new EU Member State and to cooperate closely.