Understanding informal patient payments in Kosovo’s healthcare system

Tuesday, 05. August 2014, 22:36

The topic of this paper focuses on informal patient payments in Kosovo public health care system, and it includes an analysis of current anti-corruption institutions and policies as well as a description of findings from focus groups with regard to perceptions of doctors’ and patients’ about informal patient payments. The phenomenon of informal payments, similar to a number of south-east European countries, remains an intense question in Kosovo. This paper presents a small qualitative effort that tries to shed light on determinants of informal payments in the health sector of Kosovo and to identify who benefits, the characteristics and timing of payments, and the reasons for paying. The analysis derives from two focus groups that were organized with doctors and patients. The results show that informal cash payments are common for surgeries and childbirth and skipping waiting lines for diagnostic tests. Paying informally seems more likely to be a result of culture and tradition rather than socio-economic conditions. 

The article can be download for free here.