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Croatian Delegation Visits the Trimbos Institute

February 13, 2017

Monday February 13, 2017, the Croatian State Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Tomislav Dulibić, visited the Trimbos Institute. Marie-Christine Allaer, Board Member, and Ionela Petrea, Department Head of Trimbos Institute, welcomed the State Secretary at the office of the Trimbos Institute in Utrecht. This was the start of an intense one-week work visit. He was accompanied by a substantial delegation of Croatian mental healthcare officials.

In addition to the State Secretary, the delegation consisted of the chairman of the national client organization, medical directors of psychiatric and university hospitals, a director of the national health insurance agency, chairman and director of the Croatian Institute for Public Health and the responsible official of the Ministry. The visit to Trimbos Institute is the start of a series of in-depth talks with Mental Healthcare of the Netherlands (GGZ Nederland), MindNL, Samen Sterk zonder Stigma (Strong Together without Stigma), GGZ Noord-Holland-Noord, and the regional Lister organization. The delegation wanted to see in practice that reducing beds in mental health care is possible, that ambulant teams can work well, and which legislative, policy, and finance prerequisites are required to accomplish this.

The work visit was part of the one-year program “Ensuring optimal health care for people with mental ill health”. This project started in April 2016 and will last one year. So far the program has realized an in-depth analysis of policy-making in Croatia and offered components for a broadly accepted vision and policy. The program also strengthened the position of client representatives. So far 300 professionals have been trained in basics of community mental healthcare principles; community mental health teams have formed in several regions; and three basic guidelines were developed.

Croatia and the Netherlands are cooperating in this program. Their aim is to have Croatia benefit from Dutch experiences in shaping and maintaining effective mental health services. The Trimbos Institute is spearheading the program, which is funded by the European Union (Twinning-program).

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Ionela Petrea

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