By: Steve Ollis
Serbia is a country that exemplifies how the health information system can be improved through stakeholder engagement and coordination.
Following the very high-profile public support of digitalization efforts in the health sector from the prime minister, Serbia has embarked on an ambitious program to build the strong foundations needed to continue this work in the future. Since the time I last visited Serbia in July 2021, Serbia has completed an HIS Stages of Continuous Improvement Assessment, finalized and adopted its eHealth Strategy 2021-2026, and is in the process of finalizing its eHealth Action Plan 2021-2023.
What really struck me during this visit is the extent to which these efforts and documents are bearing fruit in the area of stakeholder coordination. I had the opportunity to meet with key government stakeholders in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Health, Institute of Public Health, and the Office of IT and eGovernment as well as partners such as WHO, USAID, UNICEF, UNDP, and TBI. In each of these conversations, key activities and initiatives from the eHealth Action Plan were being identified for support. The government’s priorities were shared among those involved to support gaps and reduce duplication and fragmentation in the sector. CHISU looks forward to continuing to work together with partners like these and the eHealth Steering committee to support Serbia’s vision of digitalization in order to improve the health of each individual and society as a whole.
As we look to the upcoming adoption of the eHealth Action Plan, I had the opportunity to meet with key stakeholders around upcoming activities that we will be working on in the coming year. These include continued support of the governance activities by the eHealth Steering Committee, as well as continuing our work in strengthening data use and demonstrating the potential use case of Artificial Intelligence in health using routinely collected data. It is a privilege to be a part of this exceptional group of stakeholders, who are working together to transform the Serbian health system.