Primary Care Reform in Montenegro

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Abstract

Background: Montenegro is a newly independent state. As with many countries of that region, the country was faced with the need to reform its health care system. The overall aims of the reform were to improve the quality of services. This paper describes the process of implementation of the reform and its first achievements in patient satisfaction and quality of services since it has been introduced.

Methods: The ministry of health introduced a series of steps that included changes to legislation, financing and manpower structure. Investments in primary care have been made and informatics support was developed. Educational interventions at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels were also introduced.

Results: The initial results show that the changes have improved the quality of care provided: the composition of professionals in primary care has improved; preventive activities have remained high. Primary care is more accessible and organization of services is better, which can be seen in reduced waiting times for consultation in primary care and improved satisfaction with health care.

Conclusions: The initial results show some progress since the reform was put into place. New measures aimed at raising the level of health care to reach European Union standards are still to be introduced.

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