The Ministry of Health is responsible for overseeing the system and the Republican Health Fund is in charge of the insurance fund and executing government policy.
In 2004, the government of Montenegro introduced new laws concerning healthcare and funding, thus establishing a solid basis for a modern and efficient health system. Private healthcare is also available.
Employers must register their employees with the health insurance fund when a new employee starts work. Employees and employers pay 13.5 percent into the healthcare fund, which is split with the employer paying 6 percent of employee salaries and the employee paying 7.5 percent.
Dependant family members are covered by the contributions paid by employed family members. The unemployed, old age pensioners and people on long-term sickness benefit or maternity leave do not have to pay healthcare contributions.
Foreigners immigrating to Montenegro without jobs must produce proof of private health insurance in order to obtain their residence permit.
Self-employed persons and farmers must pay the full 13.5 percent contribution rate, this is calculated according to the taxable revenue from self-employment, and the base cannot be lower than the average wage in the country for the month that the contribution is paid in.
The state fund covers most medical services including treatment by specialists, hospitalisation, prescriptions, pregnancy and childbirth and rehabilitation.
Doctors are the first point of contact with the Montenegrin health system. Citizens can register with the doctor of their choice; however, people seeking state medical care must make sure that their doctor is contracted into the state scheme. If you are treated by anyone other than a state funded doctor, you will have to pay the fees yourself.
Doctors are well trained but often lack good facilities and supplies. They are responsible for prescribing drugs and making referrals, treating acute and chronic illnesses, and providing preventive care and health education.