Brochure Choose Your Own Doctor promoted
Serbian citizens will soon get a brochure on the importance and the right to choose their own doctor in the primary health care. The brochure Choose Your Own Doctor will be delivered by mail. Some three million copies of the leaflet produced under the project Supporting the Implementation of Capitation Payment in the Serbian Health Care System and financed by the European Union will be distributed to all Serbian citizens with the aim to better inform them about the advantages of the right to choose their own doctor. Twenty-eight medical centres all over Serbia are taking part in the project.
“To choose your doctor means to secure the entry to the health care system and it is the only way for our citizens to exercise all rights pertaining to healthcare security in the Serbian health care system,” said Serbian Minister for Health Tomica Milosavljevic. “Support for capitation payment means that all our citizens will get, by mail, a brochure explaining why capitation payment is important and why every Serbian citizen should have their own doctor,” added the Minister.
In addition to the message delivered by mail, under the Guide Forte campaign all medical centres will install boxes with instructions on the health care system and the calendar of preventive check-ups.
Serbian citizens will be able to choose their GPs, gynaecologists, dentists and specialists in occupational medicine.
Pierre Dybman, Head of Operations Section I of the Delegation of the European Commission to Serbia, said that it was important that every patient had their own doctor, adding that health was a dynamic balance between genetic predisposition and environmental influences. Citizens should, said Dybman, choose their own doctor as he or she will know best how the patient will react to certain treatments, they will know the patient health history and, based on that, will be able to refer the patient to the specialist, if necessary.
Five million Euros, which is the amount that the EU invested in this project, is part of EUR 130 million, which the EU invested in 2001 in the Serbian health care system. Dybman pointed out that investing in health and health care is any country’s best investment.
According to Svetlana Vukajlovic, Director of the Serbian Health Insurance Bureau, half of the Serbian citizens have chosen their doctors so far. She added that those are usually sick people who need to see a doctor, whilst those who do not have to or are not in the habit of coming for regular check-ups have not chosen theirs. According to Vukajlovic, choosing one’s doctor is an obligation and if someone is not happy with their choice, they can choose another doctor.
According to the Project Manager Dr. Brian Potter to choose one’s own doctor means to establish a better relationship and communication with the doctor. He pointed out the importance of preventive check-ups that the doctor will be able to perform according to the set calendar.