Private healthcare has the equipment and doctors to help fight COVID-19

Digitization of healthcare services through the improvement of electronic appointment scheduling and the introduction of electronic health records and sick leave notices will be one of the key reform priorities of NALED's Healthcare Alliance in the coming year, which also supports 65% of the the organization’s total membership.

The Alliance believes that full integration of the private sector into the healthcare system is necessary since the public institutions’ capacities are limited, and citizens cover almost 40% of medicines and services costs that are not covered by compulsory health insurance. The most recent example is the fact that private facilities are not used to test patients for the coronavirus.

-Reduced waiting lists for cataract surgery and artificial insemination show that the integration of the private and public sectors is useful and necessary, in order to provide citizens with fast and quality service. The private sector could be of great help during the COVID crisis, primarily because it has large laboratory capacities, but also CT scanners and magnetic resonance imaging, as well as general practitioners who can advise citizens on where and how to continue treatment unburden state institutions in that way. In Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Montenegro, good cooperation in treating patients has already been established and we hope that examples of good practice will come to life in our country as well - said the Alliance’s Vice President the CEO of the MediGroup System, Dejan Pešić.

State Secretary in the line ministry Berislav Vekić announced further steps in digitalization, as well as the possibility of cooperation with the private sector, primarily in keeping unified medical documentation and opening unique electronic patient records.

- Following the example of ePerscription, of which 180 million were issued, we want to continue with the development of eHealthcare in Serbia. First of all, I mean the introduction of electronic health records, where all information on citizen therapy will be concentrated and at the same time we are working on the development of radiological information system (RIS), where all diagnostic procedures will be recorded, which will achieve great savings in X-ray films and patient care. Doctors will have an insight into the entire course of treatment from different cities and institutions, regardless of whether the examination was performed in a state or private institution - said Vekić.

The state of emergency caused by the COVID-19 disease has shown that it is crucial to define procedures for rapid response in crisis situations, and to establish mechanisms for accelerated import and export of drugs and medical equipment, including emergency procedures, drug licensing procedures and medical devices.

The publication of the Grey Book of Healthcare with 50 recommendations for improving the healthcare system and NALED's participation in the Healthcare Network Optimization Plan in Serbia project, with the support of the World Bank and organized by the Ministry of Health, were highlited as the greatest results of the Alliance's work so far.

New management of the Healthcare Alliance

The members of the Healthcare Alliance have elected a new management. For the next two years, the Alliance will be presided by the CEO of Pfizer, Una Ljubičić, while the Vice Presidents in the new convocation will be Dejan Pešić, CEO of MediGroup system, and Aleksandar Tripković, CEO of AstraZeneca for Serbia and Montenegro.

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