Analysis 25 Jan 17

Non-Medics Overload Bosnia’s Failing Health System

The percentage of non-medics working in Bosnian hospitals is too high and is suffocating the health sector, experts warn.

Elameri Skrgic-Mikulic
BIRN
Sarajevo
Sarajevo Clinical Centre. Photo: BIRN

The share of non-medical staff in the health sector of the bigger of Bosnia’s two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is between 26 and 28 per cent, way above the European Union’s recommended limit of 10 per cent. The Federation also faces a growing deficit of trained medics as more and more doctors leave the country.

About a quarter of all employees at the cantonal hospitals in Mostar and Bihac are non-medical workers, research shows.

They include ward cleaners, linen cleaners, drivers, security guards, electricians, administrative workers, as well as lawyers, economists and information experts.

Arif Smajic, former professor at the Medical Faculty in Sarajevo, says the percentage of non-medical staff in hospitals is too high and makes it hard to maintain the right standard of services for patients. He also claims non-medical staff are recruited in a non-transparent manner. “Those people often get jobs through political channels,” Smajic told BIRN BiH.

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