Presentation of the ASA Hospital project in Sarajevo

Today, within the 13th “Days of BHAAAS” in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a roundtable discussion was held on the topic of “The role of the private health sector in the health system of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, during which the ASA Hospital was presented to the BiH public.

The event is organised by the Bosnian-Herzegovinian-American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This was an opportunity to present, to the professional public, the project of ASA Hospital, the first private general hospital in our country. ASA Hospital, in addition to the modern and efficient health service that it will provide to the citizens, also aims to create a productive environment for education and training of young people in the field of healthcare.

The director of the ASA Hospital project, doc.dr. Rasim Jusufović, who is also employed at the Department of Health Economics of the SSST Medical Faculty in Sarajevo, stated that in the transition of the health system that is ahead of us, in which we are late compared to the surrounding countries, the private health system could significantly improve the quality of health services. Especially in the area of promoting healthy lifestyles and preserving health.

“This is an area where the private health system can play a key role. On the other hand, we are witnessing an increase in the cost of technologically advanced instruments, equipment, pharmacotherapy and everything else. That is why it is important to carry out proper assessments of health technologies, to involve pharmacoeconomic experts who can help to rationalize costs and keep them under control”, Jusufović added.

One of the participants in the roundtable discussion, the Health Minister of Sarajevo Canton Haris Vranić, pointed out on this occasion how important it is to establish a partnership between the public and private sectors, especially in segments where public health cannot respond adequately.

“By establishing a public-private partnership, I hope that the public health will ‘wake up’ and engage in the challenge to provide health services of better quality. When you have a quality service, you will have more patients, and consequently, the institution will have more money which will enable it to further improve its offer”, said Minister Vranić.

The director of the Institute of Health Insurance of the Sarajevo Canton, mr.sci.oec. Muamer Kosovac said that the private sector plays a very important role in the health system, although more than 90% of the budget goes to public health institutions in terms of health insurance funds.

“There are a number of regulations, laws and by-laws governing this system. By law, the private and public sectors have the same treatment and their partnership must be solid. The advantage of the private sector is certainly in simplified procedures, which means that there are no formal legal barriers as is the case with the public sector.

For example, they do not have to operate under the Law on Public Procurement and are more efficient in providing services and achieving their goals”, said Kosovac.

The macroeconomic analyst dr.sci.cand. Faruk Hadžić expressed his concern about the problems with population emigration, due to which the reduced payments of contributions to public health are expected.

“For this reason, but also for many other reasons, the role of the private health sector must be greater and in the future we must find new modalities on how to finance the healthcare in BiH,” said Hadžić.

One of the speakers was Mirsad Kacila from the private health institution “Centar za srce” in Sarajevo, who said that the private sector does not yet have a significant role in the BiH health system. Although a large number of medical services and procedures are performed in the private sector, they are unfortunately not treated in the same way as in the public sector, despite the fact that both the public and private sectors are equal before the law.

“The quality of service, the swiftness of response and everything else that the private sector can provide is with no doubts, in my opinion, more efficient and affects the improvement of the quality of service, unlike some other segments of healthcare,” said Kacila.

He also added that in order to improve the current state of healthcare, it is enough to look up to the practices of neighbouring countries that have proven to be good for patients.