National Conference “Corruption Risk Assessment in Montenegro Healthcare System” organized by the Center for Monitoring and Research (CeMI), held on 29 July 2016 at the premises of the PR Center in Podgorica. The conference was opened by HE Mrs. Margaret Ann Uyehara, US Ambassador to Podgorica, Mrs. Nina Milovic,Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Mr.VladoDedovic, Head of the Legal Department CeMIand Mrs. Ana Selic, Director of the Department for Public Policy Research CeMI.
Ambassador of the United States of America (USA) in Podgorica, Margaret Ann Uyehara, announced that Montenegro can not allow corruption affects the ability of citizens to receive adequate and safe healthcare. She said that the US Government strongly supports the fight against corruption and called on the Montenegrin authorities to work together in order to effectively and efficiently address these challenges.
Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Nina Milovic said that progress has been made in the previous periodin reducingwaiting listsfrom 12.5 thousand to 1.190, adding that waiting lists exist only in the Clinical Center of Montenegro.
Head of the Legal Department CeMI, VladoDedovic, mentioned the goals of the project and reminded on public opinion survey conducted by CeMI, which showed that 42.3 percent of Montenegrin citizens expressed the view that corruption is present or is largely present in the healthcare system.
Director of the Department for Public Policy Research, Ana Selic, said that the progress that has been made in improvement of the legal framework and practice is impressive, but there is still huge space for improvement in the functioning of the complaints system and respect for patients’ rights. Also, one of the most important tasks is to work on improving citizens’ knowledge of their rights as patients.
The work of the conference continued in two panels. At first panel, Mrs.Selic presented the study “Corruption Risk Assessment in Montenegro Healthcare System” in which most attention is devoted to the challenges defined in 2013 which remain unfinished,especially in the part of the additional employment of thedoctors, waiting for health services, prosecution and sanctioning of corruption cases, and contracting with private health institutions.Speakers also wereMrs.MilankaZugic, the president of the Pharmaceutical Chamber of Montenegro,Mrs. VesnaKostic, Head of the Department for legal, personnel, administrative and technical affairs – the Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices, , andMrs.VinkaVukeljic,Head of the Department for the Implementation of Public Procurement Procedures – Health Insurance Fund of Montenegro.
At the second panelMr.Marko Savic, Project Assistant in CeMI, presented a Report on the Implementation of the Action Plan for the Fight against Corruption in the Healthcaresector in 2014. In addition, Mr.Savic stressed the excellent cooperation with the Ministry of Health, which is realized on this project and presented recommendations for full implementation of the action plan. At the same panelspeakers wereMrs. Nina Milovic, the Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Mr. Igor Cirovic, Consultant in the Department for the Exercise of rights under the compulsory health insurance – Health Insurance Fund of Montenegro.
The study and report are result of the work of researchers in the Department for Public Policy Research CeMI.
The conference is organized within the project “Healing the Healthcare System of Montenegro”, which is supported through the program “Criminal Justice Civil Society Program (CJCSP)” and funded by the US Embassy in Podgorica. With this project CeMI aims contribute decrease of the corruption level in Montenegro within healthcare sector. Through the project CeMI will work on raising awareness of citizens on their rights as patinets. Additionally, we will provide Free Legal Aid to all interested patients, for achieving full respect of their rights. Also, CeMI will offer policy recommendations of legal and strategic framework for the fight against corruption in procedures of public procurement in healthcare system and procedures for manufacturing, registration and distribution of medicines.