Macedonian healthcare has shown significant improvement

A new European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies health system in transition review on Macedonia highlights the recent commitment and achievements in restructuring its health care system, the organization of care, service delivery and provider payment.

The country’s new National Health 2020 Strategy is focused on closing the remaining health-status gap with EU countries, reducing inequalities in access to services and improving quality of care.

In terms of innovation, valuable experience was gained from a pioneering health information system that achieved considerable efficiency gains and helped to reduce waiting times and improve coordination of care.

Health has improved significantly, with life expectancy and mortality rates for both adults and children reaching similar levels as in ex-socialist EU Member States. But death rates caused by unhealthy behaviour remain high.

The country has made important progress in transitioning from a state based health system to a mixed state and private one. Despite a broad benefit package for all, the levels of private health expenditure are still quite high and satisfaction with health care delivery is very mixed. Primary care providers were privatized and new private hospitals have been allowed to enter the market.

Significant efficiency gains were achieved in the country’s private healthcare system through the introduction of a pioneering health information method that has reduced waiting times and led to the better coordination of care.