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The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Autor
Kostova NM, Chichevalieva S, Ponce NA, van Ginneken E, Winkelmann J
Verlag
European Observatory
Health system review, ISSN 1817-6127 Vol. 19 No. 3

Abstract

Lupe

This analysis of the health system of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health care provision, health reforms and health system performance. The country has made important progress during its transition from a socialist system to a market-based system, particularly in reforming the organization, financing and delivery of health care and establishing a mix of private and public providers. Though total health care expenditure has risen in absolute terms in recent decades, it has consistently fallen as share of GDP, and high levels of private health expenditure remain. Despite this, the health of the population has improved over the last decades, with life expectancy and mortality rates for both adults and children reaching similar levels to those in ex-communist EU countries, though death rates caused by unhealthy behaviour remain high. Inheriting a large health infrastructure, good public health services and well-distributed health service coverage after independence in 1991, the country re-built a social health insurance system with a broad benefit package. Primary care providers were privatized and new private hospitals were allowed to enter the market. In recent years, the country reformed the organization of care delivery to better incorporate both public and private providers in an integrated system. Significant efficiency gains were reached with a pioneering health information system that has reduced waiting times and led to a better coordination of care. This multi-modular e-health system has the potential to further reduce existing inefficiencies and to generate evidence for assessment and research. Despite this progress, satisfaction with health care delivery is very mixed with low satisfaction levels with public providers. The public hospital sector in particular is characterized by inefficient organization, financing and provision of health care; and many professionals move to other countries and to the private sector. Future challenges include sustainable planning and management of human resources as well as enhancing quality and efficiency of care through reform of hospital financing and organization.

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