The Republic of Croatia is located in Central Europe and is bordered by Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. In 2013, the population stands at an estimated 4.4 million.
The President of Croatia is Ivo Josipovic, who was elected as in January 2010. The Prime Minister, who is accountable to the Sabor (Parliament), is Zoran Milanovic, who took office in December 2011. The government is led by the centre-left Social Democratic Party and supported by the Croatian People’s Party, the Istrian Democratic Assembly and the Croatian Pensioners’ Party. The government views EU membership as a priority.
Croatia applied for EU membership in February 2003 and has worked hard to align its legislation with the EU acquis. Croatia will join the EU in July 2013, providing the country’s accession treaty is approved by all 27 EU member states. As of April 2013, the treaty has been ratified by 23 countries; only Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands are yet to ratify Croatia’s accession bid. On 2nd April 2013, Slovenia approved Croatia’s accession treaty after the two countries resolved a 20-year dispute over Croatian savings in a defunct Slovenian bank.
Funding for healthcare in Croatia is principally through the compulsory health insurance system. It was introduced in 1993 and is operated by the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZZO). The HZZO collects contributions from the working population and the government makes payments on behalf of those exempt, such as the elderly, the unemployed and dependants. The system has significantly reduced the number of unofficial payments made in the healthcare sector.
In 2013, the Croatian market for medical equipment and supplies is estimated at US$232.1 million, or US $53 per capita. It is expected that the market will expand at a rate of 5.0% per annum, reaching US$295.6 million, or US$68 per capita by 2018. The government aimed to bring the performance of the healthcare system into line with that of other EU member states through the National Health Strategy 2006-2011. The new National Healthcare Development Strategy 2012-2020 will expand health-related IT systems in the country and see a restructuring of the hospital sector.
Around 93% of the medical device market is supplied by imports. Croatia has a small domestic production sector, supplying both the domestic market and other countries from the former Yugoslavia. However, in 2012, medical device exports fell by 9.6% to US$18.0 million. Imports also decreased, by 13.8% to US$205.1 million.