Education of Medical Expert Witnesses within the Government Reform of the Social Care System

A Symposium within the Project of modernising the social care system, funded by the World Bank loan, was held in Lovran from 5 to 8 November 2015. The implementation of the Project is anticipated in the period from 2015 until 2019. Its aim is to support the Government reforms of the social care system.

The aim of this first symposium and education of medical expert witnesses of the Institute for evaluation, professional rehabilitation and employment of the disabled was to raise the level of competences and skills, with the emphasis on the implementation of the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF).

Director of the Institute for evaluation, professional rehabilitation and employment of the disabled, Lidija Hrastić Novak, MD, talked at the opening about the integral body for evaluation and about the purpose and importance of such symposia and education.

Education was realised in four themes. Prof. Sc.D Gordana Buljan Flander of the Child Protection Centre of Zagreb delivered a lecture about the specifics of evaluating children with developmental problems and those with traumatic experience. Assistant professor Sc.D Ana Wagner-Jakab of the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences elaborated on the role and competences of education rehabilitators in the process of evaluation. Sc.D Robert Šeparović, Chief Physician from the Clinical Hospital “Sestre Milosrdnice” in Zagreb, the Tumour Clinic presented his paper on the work ability of oncology patients. Sc. D Dinko Škegro, Chief Physician from the Clinical Hospital “Merkur” in Zagreb presented patients’ conditions after solid organs (kidney, liver, pancreas) transplantations and the work ability of these patients. Lecturers also had workshops related to their themes.

Furthermore, the participants conducted workshops about the importance of the interdisciplinary approach in the process of evaluation, presented the procedure of evaluation of the health status and functional ability of pre-school and school children with multiple developmental problems, all based on the Regulation and also presented a comparison with the rules which were used previously (Rulebook on the staff and method of work of the evaluation bodies in the procedure of exercising rights from social care and other rights from special regulations, National Gazette 79/2014 and 10/2014). Workshops about the importance of the interdisciplinary approach in such procedures were also held.

Examples from practice were resolved, a test of knowledge and a questionnaire assessing the symposium were conducted, too.

This education enabled acquisition of new knowledge and insight into some parts of medicine and evaluations, and mutual introduction of evaluators from Croatia. It will be organised again in the near future. The purpose is to provide standard evaluation based on new knowledge, experience, exchange of opinions with recognised experts from relevant fields of expertise through interactive individual and group work.