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Hospital reforms in 11 Central and Eastern European countries between 2008 and 2019: a comparative analysis.
Albreht T, Behmane D, Bryndova L, Dimova A, Dzakula A, Habicht T,
Murauskiene L, Scîntee S, Smatana M, Velkey Z, Quentin
2020, Volume 124/pp 368-379
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This paper aims to: (1) provide a brief overview of hospital sector characteristics in 11 Central and East-ern European countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland,Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia); (2) compare recent (2008 – 2019) hospital reforms in these countries; and(3) identify common trends, success factors and challenges for reforms. Methods applied involved fivestages: (1) a theoretical framework of hospital sector reforms was developed; (2) basic quantitative datacharacterizing hospital sectors were compared; (3) a scoping review was performed to identify an initiallist of reforms per country; (4) the list was sent to national researchers who described the top threereforms based on a standardized questionnaire; (5) received questionnaires were analysed and vali-dated with available literature. Results indicate that the scope of conducted reforms is very broad. Yet,reforms related to hospital sector governance and changes in purchasing and payment systems are muchmore frequent than reforms concerning relations with other providers. Most governance reforms aimedat transforming hospital infrastructure, improving financial management and/or improving quality ofcare, while purchasing and payment reforms focused on limiting hospital activities and/or on incen-tivising a shift to ambulatory/day care. Three common challenges included the lack of a comprehensiveapproach; unclear outcomes; and political influence. Given similar reform areas across countries, thereis considerable potential for shared learning.