Macedonia has been reforming its dysfunctional health care system, which has long prevented some patients from getting access to quality care, but there's still a long way to go.
Some public hospitals remain understaffed, outdated, and underfunded, and patients and their families worry that the poor conditions and substandard hygiene pose a grave risk to health.
In 2010, an expert commission found critical failings in some of the country’s maternity hospitals, including dilapidated buildings and a shortage of drugs and staff. Then two years ago, SCOOP went undercover to document the dire conditions in one public hospital, where some doctors blamed an increase in miscarriages on gynecological infections contracted there. The obstetrics and gynecology department there is among the hospital’s oldest and most in need of renovation. Members of the medical staff told us that equipment hadn’t been updated for decades, despite the hospital administrators' claims that it had been renovated as recently as 2012.
Reviled as it is, Macedonia’s hospital system has been subject to no broad investigations, only piecemeal reporting. SCOOP Macedonia would like to get to the truth of the matter. It is possible, of course, that the state of hospitals overall is better than the periodic, alarming reports would indicate. It is also possible that those reports are indicative of systemic failures or corruption. Either way, the public should be told. We would like to talk to experts and those with firsthand experience in the hospitals, while scouring data for any health trends that might be linked to the poor conditions.
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