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ECHR JUDGMENT

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Case of Bajic v. Croatia
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    FIRST SECTION CASE OF BAJIĆ v. CROATIA   (Application no. 41108/10) JUDGMENT STRASBOURG 13 November 2012 FINAL 13/02/2013 This judgment has become final under Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be  subject to editorial revision.    BAJIĆ v. CROATIA JUDGMENT  1 In the case of Bajić v. Croatia , The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of: Anatoly Kovler,  President,  Nina Vajić ,   Elisabeth Steiner,   Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska,   Julia Laffranque,   Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos,   Erik Møse,  judges, and Søren Nielsen, Section Registrar,  Having deliberated in private on 23 October 2012, Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date: PROCEDURE 1. The case srcinated in an application (no. 41108/10) against the Republic of Croatia lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Dutch national, Mr Pero Bajić (“the applicant”), on 2 July 2010. 2. The applicant was rep resented by Ms R. Plešnar, a lawyer practising in Zagreb. The Croatian Government (“the Government”) were represented  by their Agent, Ms Š. Stažnik.  3. On 8 June 2011 the application was communicated to the Government. It was also decided to rule on the admissibility and merits of the application at the same time (Article 29 § 1). 4. On 15 June 2011 the Government of the Netherlands was informed of the case and invited to exercise their right to intervene if they wished to do so. On 15 July 2011 the Government of the Netherlands informed the Court that they did not wish to exercise their right to intervene in the present case. THE FACTS I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE 5. The applicant was born in 1950 and lives in Garevac.  2 BAJIĆ v. CROATIA JUDGMENT   A. Background to the case 6. On 23 August 1994 the applicant ‟s sister, F.Ĉ. was admitted to the Rebro Hospital in Zagreb (  Klinički bolnički centar Zagreb –   Rebro ) as an emergency case. She required surgery for an abdominal tumour. Dr V.B. assumed charge of her treatment. 7. Dr. V.B. was a surgery professor at the University of Zagreb Medical Faculty (  Medicinski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu ). At the time of the events he worked as a surgeon in the Rebro Hospital where he had been for more than thirty years, and around the period at issue he ran for a managerial position in that hospital. 8. On 26 August 1994 the applicant paid Dr V.B. 5,000 German marks (DEM) in order to perform the surgery and on 30 August 1994 Dr V.B. operated on the applicant ‟ s sister. 9. A day after surgery the applicant ‟ s sister was transferred from the intensive-care unit to a regular ward. In the early morning of 1 September 1994 she died. Dr V.B. established massive pulmonary embolism as the cause of death. B. Disciplinary proceedings against V.B. 10. On 17 May 1995 the applicant complained to the Ministry of Health (  Ministarstvo zdravstva Republike Hrvatske ) about the circumstances of the medical treatment of his sister in the Rebro Hospital. 11. The Ministry of Health forwarded the applicant ‟ s complaint to the director of the Rebro Hospital on 8 June 1995 and ordered an inquiry. 12. On 28 June 1995 disciplinary proceedings were opened against the doctor before the Disciplinary Commission of the Rebro Hospital (  Disciplinska komisija Kliničkog bolničkog centra Zagreb ) on charges of having committed a disciplinary offence of receiving payment for  performing surgery. 13. On 19 July 1995 Dr V.B. was found to have committed the disciplinary offence as charged and dismissed from the Rebro Hospital. As to the allegations of medical negligence the Disciplinary Commission noted: “The medical records concerning F.Ĉ. are incomplete; there is no information concerning her treatment (her previous and present condition, her personal medical history is missing, as well as information on her general status, local status, pre-surgery treatment, indication, the surgery itself, post-surgery treatment, histological record and the cause of death), there is no record concerning her release from hospital or information concerning her reanimation in the intensive care unit. The Commission finds that, by failing to [ensure the] proper administration of the medical records, Prof Dr V.B. has failed to perform his duties diligently, but it does not wish to make any conclusions concerning his professiona l conduct in treating F.Ĉ.”   14. Dr V.B. lodged an appeal against that decision before the Administrative Panel of the Rebro Hospital ( Upravno vijeće    Kliničkog bolničkog centra Zagreb ) and on 22 August 1995 the Administrative Panel
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