Access to health care and Informal Patient Payments for health care in Serbia
S Buch Mejsner, S Lavasani Kjær, L Eklund Karlsson
European Journal of Public Health
Background Evidence often shows that migrants in the European region have poor access to quality health care. Having a large number of migrants seeking towards Europe, crossing through i.e. Serbia, it is crucial to improve migrants' access to health care and ensure equality in service provision Aim To investigate what are the barriers and facilitators of access to health care in Serbia, perceived by migrants, policy makers, health care providers, civil servants and experts working with
... Methods six migrants in an asylum center and eight civil servants in the field of migration were conducted. A complementary questionnaire to key civil servants working with migrants (N = 19) is being distributed to complement the data. The qualitative and quantitative data will be analysed through Grounded Theory and Logistic Regression respectively. Results According to preliminary findings, migrants reported that they were able to access the health care services quite easily. Migrants were mostly fully aware of their rights to access these health care services. However, the interviewed civil servants experienced that, despite the majority of migrants in camps were treated fairly, some migrants were treated inappropriately by health care professionals (being addressed inappropriately, poor or lacking treatment). The civil servants believed that local Serbs, from their own experiences, were treated poorer than migrants (I.e. paying Informal Patient Payments, poor quality of and access to health care services). The interviewed migrants were trusting towards the health system, because they felt protected by the official system that guaranteed them services. The final results will be presented at the conference. Conclusions There was a difference in quality of and access to health care services of local Serbs and migrants in the region. Migrants may be protected by the official health care system and thus have access to and do not pay additional fees for health care services. Key messages Despite comprehensive evidence on Informal Patient Payments (IPP) in Serbia, further research is needed to highlight how health system governance and prevailing policies affect IPP in migrants. There may be clear differences in quality of and access to health care services between the local population and migrants in Serbia.