Family medicine in Republic of Srpska
The Family Medicine Development Project in Republic of Srpska was an initiative funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The project introduced family medicine into undergraduate curricula, established three-years long program of residency in family medicine in 1999, created departments of family medicine in both medical schools, helped with the process of establishing a professional association of family physicians, worked with Ministries of health and social welfare to
... social welfare to establish supportive policies for these activities, and regularly provided continuing medical education programs for family practitioners during the 13 years of the project. Today, three family medicine teaching centers exist in RS (Primary health care centers Banja Luka, Foča and Bijeljina) where more than 600 physicians were educated either through residency or additional training program in family medicine. Almost 1000 primary care nurses completed additional training. Family medicine centered primary health care reform was a complex innovation, involving organizational, financial, clinical and relational changes. An important factor influencing the adoption of this complex innovation in RS was the perceived benefits of the innovation: benefits which accrue to the users, family physicians, nurses and policy makers. With political commitment, an enabling economic environment and equitable distribution of resources, comprehensive primary health has proved to be a better strategy in achieving the goal of health for all. However, although family medicine passed through long journey from imposition to partnership, there is still large place for the improvement.