2. Ensuring sufficient physical infrastructure and workforce capacity
ENSURING SUFFICIENT PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND WORKFORCE CAPACITY is crucial for dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, as there may be both a surge in demand and a decreased availability of health workers. The section considers the physical infrastructure available in a country and where there are shortages, it describes any measures being implemented or planned to address them. It also considers the health workforce, including what countries are doing to maintain or enhance capacity, the responsibilities and skill-mix of the workforce, and any initiatives to train or otherwise support health workers.
2.1 Physical infrastructure
The initial availability and distribution of physical resources in Croatia was good, with a comparatively high number of ICU beds, 14.7 per 100,000 population, compared to an EU average of 11.5.
So far there is no documented shortage of equipment, supplies, or capacity and a number of measures were taken to mitigate future shortages. Some non-medical facilities were converted to quarantine facilities. In Zagreb, an entire hospital has been devoted to COVID-19 patients. In the four regional centres, hospital capacities were converted to COVID 19 respiratory centres. These centres were additionally empowered by mobile medical facilities (tents, containers, etc.). Each general hospital had to prepare some isolated space or building for COVID 19 patients.
For patients with non-severe symptoms, spaces with beds and necessary facilities were prepared in some non-medical facilities (student campus, sports hall, etc.).
The Government launched national campaigns to produce more local medical goods. At the international level, it entered a bilateral agreement with China to procure more protective equipment and other medical goods. Croatia also accepted some international donations.