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Macedonia moves up 11 places in 2014 Euro Consumer Health Index

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According to the 2014 Euro Health Consumer Index, Macedonia has made a historic breakthrough jumping 11 places from 27th to 16 th in Europe “largely due to eliminating waiting lists by implementing their real time e-­Booking”.

Macedonia’s Health Minister Nikola Todorov, who is in Brussels on Tuesday, held a presentation entitled “What is the secret behind the rapid progress of Macedonia’s health performances” and attended a presentation of the annual Euro Health Consumer Index, MIA reports from the Belgian capital.

“In the report, Macedonia is ranked seriously higher compared to 2013, recording the highest growth regarding the ranking of health services. From being 27 th in 2013, Macedonia in 2014 secured the 16 th place in Europe. It is a strong encouragement for the country and its healthcare authorities to keep on working more and to try and be ranked even better than some other health systems that are more developed than the Macedonian system,” Todorov told MIA.

One of the key aspect that has been seen as a successful reform in the Macedonian healthcare system is the e-­Booking system, which was highly regarded as a unique system in Europe, according to the Health Minister. “Today we’ve also heard that the e­-Booking system is being recommended to be implemented in many other European countries,” Todorov added.

As of July 2013, referrals to a medical specialist and diagnostic testing are issued only electronically. At the same time, patients can choose the time of their appointment, as well as a doctor and medical institution.

“The implementation of the e­Booking system has allowed us to identify areas for improvement, such as the times and reasons for prolonged delays, including the lack of medical specialists and the lack of equipment. It also enabled us to identify several cases affected by a subjective factor or poor organization of work activities,” Minister Todorov said in his presentation.

Doctors’ evaluations according to their achievements, he added, are being carried out for 2,5 years whereby doctors from secondary and tertiary healthcare are paid on the basis of their achievements ranging from minus 20% up to plus 20% of the basic salary. Also, the names of doctors with the highest achievements at a national level are published in the media and they even receive an additional salary.

“In the past few years, over EUR 100 million were invested in state­of­the­art medical equipment, including advanced computed tomography, magnetic resonance, digital X­ray machines, laboratories, linear accelerators for oncology departments, etc.,” Todorov said.

Arne Björnberg, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Health Consumer Powerhouse, called the reforms implemented in Macedonia’s healthcare system “unique” and urged all the countries in Europe and beyond to follow Macedonia’s case involving the implementation of health reforms. Later in the day, Minister Todorov is set to hold a meeting in Brussels with EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis.