OBJECTIVE: Inter-regional comparison of health-reform outcomes in south-eastern Europe (SEE).
METHODS: Macro-indicators were obtained from the WHO Health for All Database. Inter-regional comparison among post-Semashko, former Yugoslavia and prior-1989-free-market SEE economies was conducted.
RESULTS: United Nations Development Program Human Development Index growth was strongest among prior-free-market SEE followed by former Yugoslavia and post-Semashko. Policy cuts to hospital beds and nursing-staff capacities were highest in post-Semashko. Physician density increased the most in prior-free-market SEE. Length of hospital stay was reduced in most countries; frequency of outpatient visits and inpatient discharges doubled in prior-free-market SEE. Fertility rates fell for one third in Post-Semashko and prior-free-market SEE. Crude death rates slightly decreased in prior-free-market-SEE and post-Semashko while growing in the former Yugoslavia region. Life expectancy increased by four years on average in all regions; prior-free-market SEE achieving the highest longevity. Childhood and maternal mortality rates decreased throughout SEE while post-Semashko countries recorded the most progress.
CONCLUSIONS: Significant differences in healthcare resources and outcomes were observed among three historical health-policy legacies in south-eastern Europe. These different routes towards common goals created a golden opportunity for these economies to learn from each other.
- South-eastern Europe
- Health resources
- Population health
- Socioeconomic transition
- Health indicators
- FORMER SOVIET-UNION
- INSURANCE ACT