Division for public health

Head of Division

Asst. Prof. Prim. Ranko Stevanović, PhD, MD,
Specialist in Family Medicine

The tasks of the Division for Public health include monitoring and analysis of health indicators for all age groups in the population, and monitoring and analysis of data on resources in healthcare, healthcare economics, functioning of healthcare systems, and  work processes in healthcare.

The Division coordinates, provides professional guidance and monitors public health activities carried out by the county institutes of public health; it monitors health indicators of the general population and vulnerable groups and proposes measures for improving their health, quality of life, and for equalising opportunities.

In cooperation with the Division for Epidemiology and Prevention of Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases, demographic and vital-statistical indicators are monitored.  Based on the above, the Division proposes and participates in the implementation of activities with the purpose of health protection and improvement, reducing morbidity, premature deaths and suffering caused by illness, as well as rationalisation in the organisation and implementation of healthcare.

Through its departments and units, based on the Act on the Official Statistics (OG 25/2020), Yearly Implementation Plans for Statistical Activities, and the Act on the Register of Persons with Disabilities (OG 63/2022), the Division conducts statistical research in the field of healthcare in order to monitor and assess the population’s health, the organisation and activities of healthcare services. The Division is responsible for planning the official statistical research in the field of healthcare, its implementation, data collection and processing, and for publishing and dissemination of results. The results are regularly published in the Croatian Health Statistics Yearbook and thematic reports available on the Institute’s website. On request, the Division also submits additional data and analyses to the Ministry of Health and other state administration and local government bodies, healthcare institutions, researchers, the media and other interested parties.

Based on monitoring and analysis, with the use of health informatics systems, the Division participates in the creation of the plan and programme for health protection, healthcare standards and health promotion. Each year, data are submitted to the following international organisations: The WHO Regional Office in Copenhagen, the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, the Statistical Office of the EU (Eurostat), the United Nations (UN), as well as other international organisations.

The Division is also the reference centre for submitting parameters on persons with disabilities to the UN, participates in the activities of several Eurostat working and technical groups, and is responsible for continuous harmonisation of statistical research in healthcare with EU requirements.

The health status of soldiers from the Croatian War of Independence is monitored, studied and reported by merging the database from the Register of Croatian Soldiers from the War of Independence with yearly databases of hospitalisations and other databases of the Croatian Institute of Public Health. Furthermore, in cooperation with hospitals, the Division participates in the National Visual Impairment Screening Programme.

In addition to its routine tasks, the Division cooperates with experts, expert bodies and associations from Croatia and abroad and participates in scientific and expert projects. All the above mentioned activities are an important part of the role of the Croatian Institute of Public Health as the carrier of national health statistics.


A significant part of the Division’s activities is dedicated to scientific work and participation in academic teaching. Five doctors of science (three assistant professors and one associate professor), and one master of science work in the Division. They participate in many scientific projects in the Division’s field of work, with regular publications in indexed scientific journals. They also participate in teaching at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine „Andrija Štampar“ School of Public Health, medical studies at the University of Rijeka School of Medicine, University of Rijeka Faculty of Health Studies, and social welfare studies at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Law.

The preparation and publishing of regular and sporadic publications such as the Croatian Health Statistics Yearbook and yearly newsletters on the research defined in the Yearly Implementation Plan for Statistical Activities are also an important aspect of the Division’s activities.

The purpose of the Division for Public Health is to continue developing our long-established role as the carrier of official health statistics in the Republic of Croatia through continuous adjustments of research to end users’ demands and advancement of research through the application of new technologies.

A part of the statistical research programme collected, processed and analysed at the Division of Public Health includes the following health databases:

1.            Data collected via the Croatian Central Health Information System (CEZIH)

  •  Activities conducted as part of general (family) medicine, health protection of preschool children, health protection of women, dental health care: data on the number of healthcare recipients, appointments, examinations, referrals, issued prescriptions, registered diseases and  conditions


2.            Data collected via the National Public Health Information System:

  • National Register of Healthcare Providers

Established in 1992, the Register is the only occupational register in Croatia that continuously monitors data on all employees in healthcare. The unified coding system enables continuous data exchange with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO) and, subsequently, simultaneous monitoring of the organisation of healthcare institutions and healthcare workers.


  • Register of Persons with Disabilities

Data on persons with disabilities are monitored pursuant to the Act on the Register of Persons with Disabilities (OG 63/2022), while the National Strategy for Persons with Disabilities (OG 63/2007) stipulates that the Division for Public Health is the carrier in the field „Research and Development“, with the task of providing a science-based contribution to the  harmonisation of opportunities and raising the quality of life for this particularly vulnerable  population group.


  • Database on hospitalisations

Data on persons hospitalised due to treatment, rehabilitation, childbirth, miscarriage or  abortion in stationary healthcare facilities  – hospitals, infirmaries and birth centres – persons admitted into day care, one-day surgery or hospital haemodialysis and haemodialysis in  infirmaries within healthcare centres.


  • Database on childbirths in  healthcare institutions

Data on childbirths: data on the healthcare institution, general information on the mother, place of residence, country, data on the mother’s hospital stay  – primary diagnosis at discharge with a four digit code  in accordance with ICD-10, previous miscarriages and/or abortions and births, prenatal examinations; time of first prenatal examination; information on the childbirth − completion, date and time of  childbirth; information on the newborn child/children – total number of newborns from the  childbirth, chronological number of the newborn, sex, pregnancy duration, birth weight, discharge according to the outcome (live birth, stillbirth, infant death)

Data on perinatal deaths: data on the healthcare institution, general information on the mother, place of residence, country; data on the cause of newborn death– cause of stillbirth with a four digit code in accordance with ICD-10, cause of death in newborns 0 – 6 days old, with a four digit code in accordance with ICD-10


  • Database on miscarriages and abortions

Information on the healthcare institution, information on the patient, information on the service purchaser, information on the stay at the facility, medical history and status, type of current miscarriage or abortion, complications and outcome, pregnancy resulting from fertility treatment, anomaly screening, reason for abortion; the collected data are used for analyses and preventive programmes on a national level, as well as for  reporting to  international organisations.


3.            Compiled data on the following parameters:

  • Employees, organisation, activities and morbidity in dentistry, occupational and sports medicine, house calls and home care services
  • Employees and activities in specialist practice according to office type
  • Organisational structure of healthcare institutions, and healthcare workers (data on the Croatian network of healthcare institutions and healthcare workers)
  • Organisation, hospital workers and activities (organisation, activities, number of beds, number of patient admissions and discharges, duration of hospital stay, usage of hospital capacities)
  • Expenditures for healthcare services according to the System of Health Accounts methodology.


4.            European Health Survey

Health surveys (Health Interview Survey, HIS) or other population surveys are widely accepted instruments for providing comparable data for health statistics with respect to the individual characteristics of the  population. With the purpose of improving the quality and comparability of the health surveys results by establishing regular, highly harmonised research on healthcare, in 2002 the European chiefs of social statistics decided to launch the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) as part of the European Health Survey System (EHSS). EHIS has two components: Minimum European health module, and a group of modules comprising the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS). A survey conducted on a representative sample provides insight into the health status, health care use, and health determinants of the population. The European Health Survey consists of three modules: Health Status, Health Protection, and Health Determinants. Health indicators on a national level obtained from this survey are published in separate publications as well as in the Eurostat database, where they are comparatively presented along with the EHIS results of other European states. Survey results are also used for planning and evaluating the activities in the field of health promotion, prevention of chronic noncommunicable diseases and organisation of health protection.


Department for Research and Monitoring of Maternal and Preschool Healthcare

Head of Department: Assoc. Prof. Prim. Urelija Rodin, PhD, MD,
Specialist in Social Medicine with Healthcare Organisation
Tel.: +385 1 2230 450
E-mail: urelija.rodin@hzjz.hr

  • Unit for Perinatal Care Monitoring
  • Unit for Preschool Healthcare

Department for Healthcare Economics

Head of Department: Ana Ivičević Uhernik, PhD, MD,
Specialist in Public Health
Tel.: +385 1 4863 243
E-mail: ana.ivicevic@hzjz.hr

  • Unit for Monitoring Financial Indicators in Healthcare
  • Unit for Healthcare Economic Analyses

Department for Human and Material Resources in Healthcare

Head of Department: Mario Trošelj, MD,
Specialist in Epidemiology
Tel.: +385 1 4863 273
E-mail: registar-zdr-djel@hzjz.hr

  • Unit for Registers of Healthcare Professionals, Healthcare Institutions and Equipment

Department for Primary Healthcare

Head of Department: Željka Draušnik, MD, MMed,
Specialist in Public Health Medicine
Tel.: +385 1 4863 244
E-mail: zeljka.drausnik@hzjz.hr

  • Unit for Family Medicine and Emergency Medical Assistance
  • Unit for Primary Healthcare Monitoring of Infants and Preschool Children
  • Unit for Medical Ethics and Patients’ Rights
  • Unit for House Calls, Home Care and Other Services

Department for Specialist and Hospital Healthcare

Head of Department: Prim. Sandra Mihel, MD,
Specialist in Public Health
Tel.: +385 1 4863 202
E-mail: sandra.mihel@hzjz.hr

  • Unit for Specialist Healthcare
  • Unit for Hospital Healthcares

Department for Health Protection of Vulnerable Groups

Head of Department: Asst. Prof. Tomislav Benjak, PhD, MD,
Specialist in Public Health
Tel.: +385 91 4683 071 / +385 92 121 6110
E-mail: tomislav.benjak@hzjz.hr / invaliditet@hzjz.hr

  • Unit for Research and Development in the Field of Disabilities with Register of Persons with Disabilities
  • Unit for Monitoring and Analysis of Healthcare for the Elderly and Other Vulnerable Groups

Department for Monitoring and Analysis of Healthcare for the Elderly and Other Vulnerable Groups

Head of Department: Vesna Štefančić Martić, MD,
Specialist in Public Health Medicine
Tel.: +385 1 48 63 201
E-mail: vesna.stefancic@hzjz.hr / slabovidnost@hzjz.hr

  • Unit for Children Screening Programmes
  • Unit for Reducing Health Inequalities

Department for Oral and Dental Healthcare

Head of Department: Marijana Radić Vuleta, MSc, DMD
Tel.: +385 1 4863 275
E-mail: marijana.radic@hzjz.hr

  • Unit for Children Screening Programmes
  • Unit for Reducing Health Inequalities