The Serbian health care system provided services for about 7.5 million people. The country faced many of the problems which were typical of transition countries: Decreasing national health care budgets; rising poverty levels; and rising rates of both communicable and non-communicable diseases; as well as structural deficiencies in the relation between primary, secondary and tertiary levels of health care provision.
The overall objective of the project was to build the capacities of the Health Insurance Fund (HIF) in Serbia to function as an effective commissioner of health and health care services, by using limited available resources for the maximum benefit of the insured population. The specific objectives were to:
Support the HIF in legal framework and organizational development;
Support the health reform process and support health care purchasing, contracting and operational financing approaches;
Improve the operation of basic financing and financial management systems;
Support a IT strategy development including particularly the registration of persons insured at the HIF (subscriber-based contribution payment);
Support capacity building, human resources development, visibility and sustainability.
During the project duration, a team of international and local consultants was supporting the HIF leadership and staff in reaching the objectives of the project. The activities of the consultants included:
Analysis of the existing legal and regulatory framework and development of suggestions for improvements;
Organizational analysis of the HIF and its relation with key stakeholders, and elaboration of suggestions for a process of organizational development;
Define preconditions for a purchaser-provider split and develop a matrix for implementation;
Analyze existing internal planning and accounting procedures and develop strategies for improvements;
Implement integrated data structures within the HIF, develop common coding schemes, protocols;
Develop and implement policies and guidelines on data transparency and privacy, as well as a communication strategy.