There are 72,540 people waiting for surgery, or different types of medical treatment in Serbian hospitals.
According to Politics, the longest waiting lists are for cataract surgery, knee and hip replacement, heart coronarography and replacement of heart valves, but also for CT (head and spine). On average, the waiting period is about two years, but in some cases patients have to wait up to six years to have their medical treatment.
According to waiting lists published on the website of the State Health Insurance Fund (RFZO), a patient, who was scheduled for a knee replacement in January 2013, will be able to have surgery only in March 2019. And the patient who was put on the waiting list for a treatment at the Banjica Hospital last month will be operated on in January 2022. According to the information from the RFZO’s waiting list, the patients, who have been scheduled for surgery in the Banjica Hospital in December 2014, will be operated on today.
In order to try to solve this problem, RFZO has launched new software early this year, thanks to which a patient cannot be registered for the same operation in several different hospitals, as it was the case before. Dr Sanja Radojević Škodrić, acting director of RFZO, says that the system of regional waiting lists will be in place at the end of the year, so that patients won’t have to wait for surgery for such a long time or travel to distant locations to have one.
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“First of all, we need to define what constitutes the region in this case and do everything in our power to ensure that everyone has the same equipment and staff at their disposal. We have been working a lot on this with the Ministry of Health. If a certain hospital lacks in doctors, we are going to send the doctors from bigger hospitals to do surgery there”, she added.
The longest waiting lists are for the cataract operation, with 25,740 citizens of Serbia in line for this type of peration. Although RFZO has concluded contracts with private clinics where patients can have their surgery, a number of patients would rather wait and have the surgery at a state hospital. On the other hand, hospital directors are doing their best to shorten the waiting lists by operating on weekends and opening new operation rooms.
RFZO is considering a possibility of sending patients in need of orthopaedic interventions or magnetic resonance imaging to private clinics, just like they do with the patients who need IVF or cataract surgery. This also entails that a private hospital has to meet a number of conditions. RFZO is currently analyzing several state hospital to ascertain what kind of capacities they dispose of, in order to see which medical interventions can be done in private clinics.