Serbia: Moving from Strategy to Action

By: Steve Ollis

Image
Meeting with the World Health Organization to discuss potential alignment of eHealth activities
Meeting with the World Health Organization to discuss potential alignment of eHealth activities
Image
Meeting with stakeholders at UNICEF to celebrate the approved eHealth strategy and continued collaboration around data use
Meeting with stakeholders at UNICEF to celebrate the approved eHealth strategy and continued collaboration around data use
Image
Meeting with the Serbian Office of IT and eGov
Meeting with the Serbian Office of IT and eGov

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.
 

Other Recent Posts

Challenges and Opportunities with Linking Malaria Data – Perspectives from Ghana and Malawi

On August 31, the USAID Country Health Information Systems and Data Use (CHISU) Project hosted their webinar titled, “Challenges and Opportunities… Read more ›

Areas that CHISU is looking forward to learning about at the Digital Health Forum 2022

The Global Digital Health Forum 2022, taking place from December 5-7 2022 as a hybrid event – virtual (Asia and East Africa time zones) & in-… Read more ›