- Published: 13.01.2022.
So far 995 out of 5,000 primary care practices have done COVID testing
Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Thursday that so far 995 out of 5,000 primary care practices had conducted rapid antigen testing for COVID-19, calling on them to respond to their patients' testing needs due to the emergency.
So far rapid antigen testing has been conducted at 370 family physicians' practices, 558 dentists' and 17 pediatric practices, and they have done 125,000 tests, he told the press.
Responding to protests from family physicians, Beroš said his task as minister was to organise a response to the increasing demand for testing. "In the context of the epidemic and new challenges, we believe that it is adequate for Croatian patients to go to their doctors for help."
Hospitals are under strain due to treatment and they are also doing the testing, so we can't ask them to increase their capacity. We can make it so that all family physicians care for their patients, he said.
"I know they are overwhelmed, but these are not normal times. A global epidemic has been declared and caring for those who are ill is our primary task."
He said family physicians could do the testing during the last hour of their work day, adding that overtime and all the tests would be paid.
He dismissed claims that he was "at war with family physicians," saying, "I'm at war with the virus and they are my fellow fighters."
A decision on when rapid antigen testing will begin at primary care practices is to be made next week.