Medical staff are well trained; however equipment and facilities let the health system down considerably.
Healthcare in Serbia is available to all citizens and registered long-term residents. Private healthcare is also available for those citizens who can afford it.
The Health Insurance Fund (HIF) operates and oversees the health service in Serbia, the aim of the organisation is to make the health system equal for every citizen no matter what their status, but in practice this is often not the case.
Employers must register their employees with the health insurance fund known as the Compulsory Social Health Insurance.
Both parties must make contributions into the state healthcare fund; the amount of contributions is dependant on what you earn.
Dependant family members are covered on the paying employee healthcare contributions. The self employed must pay the full contribution, which is equivalent to that of the employees and employers contribution combined.
The unemployed, old age pensioners and people on long-term sickness benefit or maternity leave do not have to pay healthcare contributions; this is taken from the state republic budget.
Foreigners immigrating to Serbia without jobs must produce proof of private health insurance in order to obtain their residence permit.
The state fund covers most medical services including treatment by specialists, hospitalisation, prescriptions, pregnancy and childbirth, and rehabilitation.
Prescription medicines must be paid for and doctors charge under-the-table payments for all services.
Doctors are known as doktor and are the first point of contact with the state health system. Citizens can register with the doctor of their choice. Citizens will be charged a fee for each time they visit the doctor.
GPs make referrals, prescribe drugs, treat acute and chronic illnesses, and provide preventive care and health education.