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The 4Cs of the Croatian public healthcare system: social marketing challenges at the dawn of EU accession

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As a country nearing EU accession, Croatia faces many political, legal and economical challenges. Harmonisation with EU laws within the public sector is one of the most challenging steps in Croatia's accession process. Under the rubric of public sector services, public healthcare is one of the most important as it supports the well being of individuals and society as a whole. The primary aim of this paper is to provide limited insight into Croatian public healthcare from the social marketing perspective. The exploration of the implementation of the social marketing principles is conducted following Lauterborn's 4C marketing mix as the theoretical framework. Based on the literature review and primary research finding, this study provides an overview of the implementation of basic social marketing principles within the Croatian public healthcare system. Finally, the authors propose necessary changes to re–focus on user satisfaction and provide guidelines for further research.

Keywords: public healthcare, social marketing, healthcare services, Robert Lauterborn, 4Cs, customer value, convenience cost communication, Croatia, EU accession, European Union, political challenges, legal challenges, economic challenges, harmonisation, law, public sector, well being, individuals, society, marketing mix, user satisfaction, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurialism, management, sustainable development, sustainability

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