The Child Health Care System of Serbia

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The health care system in Serbia is based on a network of public health institutions funded by the National Health Insurance and from the state budget. Access to public health institutions is free. Preventive and curative services are provided at the local level in primary health care centers. Over the past 5-7 years, the number of pediatricians in primary health care centers decreased because of reduced number of applicants for pediatric training, which endangers the maintenance of the traditional model of pediatric care. Secondary medical care is offered in pediatric departments of local and regional general hospitals or outpatient clinics, and in specialized hospitals for children or adults. Tertiary medical care is provided by inpatient or outpatient subspecialty services in 5 major university children's clinics. The health reforms undertaken in the recent 10 years have aimed at strengthening preventive health care and reducing the overall costs for pediatric care. Current initiatives of the Ministry of Health and national pediatric associations are aimed at reestablishing and strengthening the capacity of the primary pediatric health care model by increasing the number of physicians and developing new processes of care.

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