Healthcare system in Serbia is ineffective and fundamentally unsuccessful, while the healthcare services are not available to everyone equally – says Professor Mikhail Arandarenko, from the Belgrade Faculty of Economics while commenting on the results of the recently conducted research that will be publicly revealed soon.
According to the obtained results, total expenditures for health in Serbia stand at 10.38% of the national GDP which is significantly higher than Montenegro and just slightly above the EU average. However, this data does not include only health expenditures in state healthcare facilities, but also in private ones which stand at around 40% compared to the EU average of close to 20%.
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In terms of resources, our country does not lag behind Europe much. On every 100,000 people we have 308 general practitioners, which is more than Montenegro and Macedonia, and less than 360, which is the EU average (this number is significantly higher in Austria and the Netherlands, i.e. above 400). Serbia is also close to the European average in terms of available equipment, scanners, mammograms and MRIs.
However, Serbia also has considerably fewer assistance staff like nurses and technicians which number 628 per 100,000 people. In the EU, the average is almost twice higher (1,199), while in the Netherlands, which is considered to have a high quality healthcare system, this number stands at 1,441, indicating that hospital care in Serbia is far below in quality compared to other countries.
Last but not least, the research compares the key data that measures the success of a health system – life expectancy. In 2016, life expectancy in Serbia was 75.5 years, or 78 for women and 73 for men, which is the shortest lifespan in comparison to all countries that are comparatively included in the research. The EU average is 5.5 years higher, while the population of Montenegro and Macedonia both have a longer life expectancy.
Professor Arandarenko says that our country’s poor results are due to the transition in Eastern Europe where the average life expectancy has been reduced due to high mortality, and in men due to alcoholism. He also underlines that a high share of private health spending is one of the reasons why healthcare services in Serbia are not equally accessible to all population categories.
He also points out that the situation deteriorated since the introduction of e-health cards following which almost half a million people were left out of the healthcare system.
This post is also available in: Italiano