Thursday, February 7, 2008

And You Think *We* Have Problems

We certainly go on and on about the horrific state of health care in the richest country in the world blah blah blah, but this story caught my eye this morning and I thought I'd share (story reprinted with absolutely no permission).

BELGRADE (Reuters) - A ban on grumpiness, gossiping, mini-skirts and rudeness is what the doctor orders to improve patient care in Serbia's hospitals, according to new rules issued by the country's Health Ministry.

The rules, posted on the ministry's Web site, say staff are not allowed to criticize their hospital or their superiors, and should not accept gifts for their services.

Hospital staff are often bribed with cash or gifts for attention or better treatment.

"There needs to be ground rules for decency," a ministry spokesman said.

Serbia's public health system crumbled during the conflicts of the 1990s, with patients' relatives having to provide everything from bandages and antibiotics to food.

Funding improved as stability returned but bribery, often involving hundreds of euros, is still widespread.

(Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; editing by Ellie Tzortzi and Andrew Dobbie)

While researching the Serbian Ministry of Health's Web site, I also found this little gem, announcing Serbia's own version of CAHPS - hospital and other provider patient satisfaction surveys - that are currently being piloted (emphasis is added by me):

Research on user satisfaction in the health institutions in Serbia

Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia in cooperation with the Institute for Public Health of Serbia „dr Milan Jovanovic – Batut“ is already for four years implementing a series of activities in constant improvement of the quality of work in health institutions. Within those activities also in this year, research of the users’ satisfaction shall be performed regarding the work of the health service, and for the first time in the complete territory of the Republic of Serbia research shall be implemented of health institution employees.

In the week from 26th to 30th November in all health institutions in the state sector on the territory of the Republic of Serbia, those researches shall be performed in the following way:
* At all seats of medical centers and in all health institutions and pharmacies in Serbia on 26th November 2007, all citizens who would at that day use health services shall be offered a questionnaire about the satisfaction with health services.
* In hospitals in Serbia, all patients dismissed in the period from November 26th to 30th 2007 shall be offered a questionnaire about the satisfaction with hospital treatment.
* Testing of the employee satisfaction shall be performed in all health institutions on December 3rd 2007.

All users/patients shall be asked by their physicians, nurses and/or pharmacists, to complete an anonymous questionnaire and to drop it into box specially arranged for that.

We also invite all health institutions in private ownership and private practices to join this research, in such a way as they would distribute the questionnaires about the user satisfaction pertaining to the activity they perform to their patients throughout the week in which they decide to implement this research, ?nd the latest until December 20th. This is necessary in order to provide statistically sufficient number of patients for analysis and deriving of conclusions about user satisfaction in the private sector.

Also, private institutions can check the satisfaction of their employees, during any day in a week, and the latest until December 20th, so that during that day they shall distribute to all employees working there a questionnaire they should complete anonymously.

Private institutions, after completed anonymous questionnaires can process the same and analyze them in order to enhance their own quality of work. Final analyses can be delivered to institutes /bureaus for public health of the county where they have their seat, the latest until December 31st 2007.

We thank in advance both to citizens, as well as to employees in health institutions for their participation in this, extremely important activity for the whole system of health protection.


Disclosures and Disclaimers


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