MK: Coutry-wide database of health services to facilitate new model of referral to specialists
2 - Summary:
Following the launch of a pilot referral model on 1 October 2011, an online database of health institutions of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia enables doctors to check the health services offered in the establishments listed and to refer their patients to relevant specialists and hospitals.
3 - Description:
The introduction of a new referral model aims to reduce the workload of the University Clinical Centre of Skopje so that teachers become able to devote more time and attention to scientific and educational work, as well as to more complex health cases.
The database contains a list of all the services provided by the country's public health institutions as well as private facilities which have an agreement with the Health Insurance Fund. This list is accessible from the website of the Health Ministry.
"It is crucial that the database contains the list of the services that the health institutions actually provide at a specific point in time, instead of those they are supposed to provide. Therefore, particular care was taken in the preparatory phase in a way to avoid sending patients to institutions that are supposed to, but do not, provide the desired service," Nikola Todorov, the Minister for Health, explained at a press conference.
Minister Todorov also announced that soon, compact discs with the database's information will be made and distributed to the doctors with limited or no Internet access.
"It is good that a test period is implemented for the new patient referral system that should officially enter into force on 1 January ," the Minister said.
"I will be satisfied if the new referral system reduces by 10 % the number of patients in the University Clinical Centre as that would means a major reduction in annual costs, since tertiary healthcare is much more expensive that secondary care," the Minister added.
The Minister explained that under the previous referral system, it was mandatory for doctors to refer their patients to the nearest public healthcare facility, rather than to establishments where they could receive the relevant service. Moreover, patients now have the right to choose the specialist and the institution from the same level of healthcare.
Under the new referral model, patients will see specialist practitioners with a referral from their general practitioner, while they will go to tertiary healthcare facilities (including the University Clinical Centre) if they have a referral from the specialist practitioner. Exceptions will be made in case of emergency and for the chronically ill, children under 14 and pregnant women.
4 - Domain:
5 - Topic:
Hospital information systems
Regional/national Health Information Networks
7 - Country:
FYR of Macedonia
9 - Source URL:
13 - Sector:
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