Danish State Visit to Croatia

Zagreb, 21 - 24 October 2014

Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

Funding for healthcare in Croatia is principally through the compulsory health insurance system which has been 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 dependents.


Opportunities for Danish companies:


  • Medical equipment - Total spending on medical equipment, surgical instruments, accessories, laboratory equipment and various supplies in Croatian hospitals amounts to EUR 159 million, of which approximately EUR 34 million is spent on medical equipment. Clinical centres in Zagreb and Rijeka are the most active buyers. Private clinics and medical practices account for approximately 3-8 percent of total services provided in the health sector.
  • Pharmaceuticals - Croatian pharmaceuticals distributors are interested in the possibility of representing additional principals and/or use the manufacturing capacities of Danish private label manufacturers. Food supplements represent another area where Croatian distributors are looking for new brands.
  • IT services/solutions - Croatian Institute for Health Insurance signed a contract with Sundhed.dk in October 2013 on consultancy services for developing E-health system on a national level. In the later stage we see the opportunities for Danish providers of IT services specialized in healthcare sector.

Some major items within the structure of HZZO’s expenditures are listed below:

Clinical treatments - EUR 1.07 billion
Prescription drugs - EUR 450 million
Primary healthcare - EUR 404 million
Orthopedic devices - EUR 98 million
Emergency medical treatments - EUR 92 million


The EUR 3.4 billion budget of the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZZO, www.hzzo-net.hr) provides treatment for approximately 4.36 million insured persons annually in 49 public health centres, 22 general hospitals, 12 clinics, 40 special hospitals and 363 polyclinics.

As Croatian healthcare is a two-tier system, these figures do not include the full cost of services provided in private healthcare institutions and private consumption of medicines, nor a portion of hospital budgets that is provided by local authorities.

Private spending on pharmaceuticals and other medical products is not included in these figures. The total drug expenditures in Croatia in 2012 were around EUR 572.3 million, and are expected to decrease by 5.1 percent in 2013.

Approximately 25 percent of all drug expenditures are attributable to various groups of cardiovascular drugs. The second highest ranked group is nervous system drugs, followed by immune system/cancer treatment drugs and gastro-intestinal drugs.

In 2013, the Croatian market for medical equipment and supplies is estimated at EUR 177.1 million, and is primarily government funded. Approximately one fourth of this market is new medical equipment. It is expected that the market will expand at a rate of 5.0% per annum, reaching EUR 225.5 million by 2018. The National Healthcare Development Strategy 2012-2020 developed by the Croatian Ministry of Health will expand health-related IT systems in the country and restructure 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.