Swift Scheduling and Higher Salaries Top Healthcare Priorities

According to the latest study conducted by NALED , half of citizens in Serbia express satisfaction with the quality of services provided by state healthcare institutions. However, to further enhance the system, the primary concerns that need to be addressed are the lack of staff and insufficient motivation among healthcare workers, explained Isidora Šmigić, the regulatory reform coordinator at NALED, during an interview with "Euronews Dan."

The study revealed that while every other respondent reported no issues with scheduling appointments and visiting doctors within a maximum of one month, 37% of patients in the past three years had to forego necessary interventions due to urgent medical requirements or a complete unavailability of appointments. Additionally, research indicates that citizens are inadequately informed about electronic healthcare services. Less than one-fifth of respondents reported using services such as eZdravlje and Moj RFZO.

The survey, conducted by NALED and Ipsos with support from the eZdravlje project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aims to facilitate digitalization and improve the healthcare environment in over 20 countries, including Serbia.

Doctors participating in the survey highlighted that they spend up to 40% of their working hours on medical documentation, which is predominantly paper-based. They expressed the need for digitalization to enable access to a unified electronic patient card containing medical history, as well as interconnectivity among healthcare institutions at all three levels, ensuring a more efficient flow of information, as stated by Šmigić.

The surveyed doctors identified dedication and expertise among medical workers as positive aspects of the healthcare system. However, they also acknowledged challenges such as staff overload, low salaries, and excessive paperwork.

To strengthen and improve the healthcare system, priorities include better work organization, reduced time spent on paperwork, expedited appointment scheduling, equipment procurement, and salary increases. Given the proven efficiency of digitization, Šmigić emphasized the importance of encouraging both citizens and doctors to utilize digital services and systems.

The entire interview can be viewed by following the provided link.

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