First step has been made, it is time for system solutions!

Foundation Solidarna and Center for peace studies as initiators of petition Every sick child has a right for a chance to live! and the association Krijesnica welcome the decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia to redistribute the purchase of medicines for children suffering from high-risk neuroblastoma up to 14 million kuna within the budget. Funding will be provided to the Ministry of Health through this decision, which will be handed over to the Zagreb Children's Hospital Clinic - Klaić, and based on the opinion of the Commission of the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance.

It is very important that the Government, with this decision, set an amount that could cover the costs of treating the required drug Dinutaximab beta Apeiron for this year for all children suffering from neuroblastoma, who the Klaić Children's Hospital employees have initially proposed to receive therapy. Today, exactly one month after the launch of a petition signed by more than 30,000 citizens, we can say that the first request from our petition is accepted.

Once again, we invite the commission of CHIF(Croatian Health Insurance Fund) to make a decision on medicine access for other children as soon as possible, and to inform parents on taken actions during the decision making process, so that parents, in addition to all the difficulties they are experiencing, would not experience additional stress.

We now face the challenge of adopting  other two requests aimed at improving the system, in order to create an environment in which all citizens of the Republic of Croatia will have equal access to health services, including access to effective therapies or medicines. These two requests  are related to the review of the system of limitations for procurement so called "expensive medicines”, and the requests to set up a special fund to provide easier and faster procedures to ensure access to therapy. This is important in urgent situations, so that the CHIF simplifies to itself the management of emergencies in which it is not possible to apply the general procedures of the CHIF, in example when their application prevents timely access to therapy.

 We would like to thank all citizens who, by signing a petition, have shown that there is a high level of consensus on such issues in Croatia, that the issue of financing effective therapy for children with malignant diseases should be a health and budgetary priority. Citizens have shown that they seek better system solutions, which will ensure equal and quality access to health services for everyone, especially children suffering from the most serious diseases. We would also like to thank all the media and journalists who have been engaged professionally and as human beings on this topic.

 We continue to strive for the fulfillment of all petitions requests by involving a large number of civil society actors, experts and citizens, to continue building a social consensus on key issues of human rights protection and children's rights in Croatia.

Photo: Photo by Michael Kumm. Creative Commons via Flickr