eReferrals, shortening waitlists and new medicines are the priorities for healthcare development

Apart from the introduction of a unified electronic health record, the next step in the digitization of the health system is the connection of all institutions and specialist doctors, through electronic referrals and electronic medical files and facilitating patient access to specialist doctors.

Establishing an electronic file will be one of the key reform priorities of the Healthcare Alliance, which will provide support to the Ministry of Health and relevant institutions in this work, it was announced at the constitutive session of NALED's working body. The idea behind the introduction of the file is that doctors in private institutions also get access to this record, in order to provide more effective treatment.

The Alliance’s focus in the next two years will include work on reducing waiting lists and increasing the number of services citizens will be able to receive in private healthcare at the expense of the RHIF, as is now the case with dialysis, in vitro fertilization, hyperbaric chamber and cataracts. The third priority is further digitalization of procedures, primarily in connection with clinical studies and obtaining drug licenses, so that new, modern and more effective therapies are available to our citizens.

- The Alliance will support the implementation of the Healthcare Digitalization Program in the part that foresees the introduction of the e-SickLeave service. Our goal, among other things, is for doctors in the private sector to be given the opportunity to open sick leave for patients. Also, our focus is the introduction of the eReferral service, where we want to enable specialist doctors to issue referrals for further treatment, which would spare citizens from returning to their chosen doctor. And finally, the goal is to extend the ePrescription service, currently valid for drugs from the A list, to B, C and D list drugs as well - said the newly elected president of the Healthcare Alliance Vukašin Radulović.

The guest at the session was the Minister of Health, Danica Grujičić, who pointed out that she recognizes many points in NALED's mission intended to make various areas of social life, including healthcare, better.

- Serbia and its healthcare needs digitization so that doctors can devote all their energy to treating patients, and not spend precious time on administrative tasks. Also, all great ideas ultimately boil down to the development of the environment where citizens fulfill their life needs the most, which is the local community. The Ministry’s project for the family doctor is actually the idea that by supporting family doctors - those in the most local community - we can strengthen primary health care that would foster preventive action and thus achieve improved level of health for the whole nation - said Grujičić.

Marko Jovanović, director of the IT sector at RHIF, emphasized that the institution introduced the SAP information system and thereby established an insight into the goods and material condition of health institutions, all with the aim of optimizing spending and creating large financial savings.

In the next month, the alliance will present the ministry with an analysis and recommendations for improving the procedure of placing medicines on the market, which lasts two to three years where it could be reduced to nine months, which makes it difficult for citizens to access medicines. Emphasis will also be placed on simplifying clinical trials of drugs on humans, because this procedure means a lot to seriously ill patients in getting an innovative drug that would take longer to get to the market, and it also benefits doctors to become familiar with new treatment methods. This procedure in Serbia takes up to three times longer than in other countries and deters companies from investing in tests in our country.

In the previous convocation of the Alliance, the first edition of the Gray Book of Healthcare was published, which contains a list of the 50 biggest administrative obstacles to the development of this sector, as well as concrete solutions to overcome them. The publication of the second edition is expected in the coming year.

The new presidency of the Healthcare Alliance

The Alliance members elected a new leadership. In the next two years, this working body will be chaired by Vukašin Radulović, Co-founder of Heliant, while Una Ljubičić, Rare Disease Lead at Pfizer, Vladimir Tipsarević, Public Policy and Public Relations Director at Novo Nordisk Pharma, Dejan Pešić, CEO of MediGroup, and Lidija Dimitrijević, Deputy Mayor of Leskovac.


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