, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 153-159
Date: 10 Nov 2012

Resource allocation strategies in Southeastern European health policy

Abstract

The past 23 years of post-socialist restructuring of health system funding and management patterns has brought many changes to small Balkan markets, putting them under increasing pressure to keep pace with advancing globalization. Socioeconomic inequalities in healthcare access are still growing across the region. This uneven development is marked by the substantial difficulties encountered by local governments in delivering medical services to broad sectors of the population. This paper presents the results of a systematic review of the following evidence: published reports on health system reforms in the region commissioned by WHO, IMF, World Bank, OECD, European Commission; all available published evidence on health economics, funding, reimbursement in world/local languages since 1989 indexed at Medline, Excerpta Medica and Google Scholar; in depth analysis of official website data on medical care financing related legislation among key public institutions such as national Ministries of health, Health Insurance Funds, Professional Associations were applicable, in local languages; correspondence with key opinion leaders in the field in their respective communities. Contributors were asked to answer a particular set of questions related to the issue, thus enlightening fresh legislative developments and hidden patterns of policy maker’s behavior. Cost awareness is slowly expanding in regional management, academic and industrial establishment. The study provides an exact and comprehensive description of its current extent and legislative framework. Western Balkans policy makers would profit substantially from health-economics-based decision-making to cope with increasing difficulties in funding and delivering medical care in emerging markets with a rapidly growing demand for health services.

Author is running graduate curriculum on Pharmacoeconomics at the University of Kragujevac, historical cradle of Serbian higher education, leading Budget financed, research project in Health Economics in Serbia OI 175014 and serving on behalf of Hosei University Tokyo, Japan as Visiting Associate Professor of Health Economics.