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The relationship between a healthcare professional and a patient in health institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is often discussed in public. There is a large number of criticisms. In what way is this relationship improved, does it imply mutual understanding, but also an understanding of the specifics in which certain institutions operate? What are the rights of patients, and what are the rights of healthcare professionals? Who to turn to when these rights are threatened? Are we approaching European standards when it comes to the mentioned relationship? Are the citizens of BiH often surprised by the kindness and treatment when receiving health care abroad because they do not regularly encounter such here?

The answers were given by: Zaim Jatic, specialist in family medicine at the Health Center of Canton Sarajevo (CS), Zehrina Husnic, specialist in emergency and internal medicine at the “Dr. Abdulah Nakas” General Hospital, Tatjana Jevtic Drkic, specialist in emergency medicine at the CS Emergency Medical Service, and Danko Vasiljevic, specialist physiatrist and advisor to the director of medical affairs of the Health Center Istocno Sarajevo.

Jevtic Drkic points out that the relationship between the healthcare professional and the patient is important because a lot can be learned from the patient in order to get the correct diagnosis and treatment.

“We always try to do our best, but a major reorganization of the health system is extremely necessary for the simple reason that it is definitely not considered how many patients there are for how many doctors, how many services can be provided in one day per patient per doctor. These are things that need to be taken into account. I believe that this is also the source of great dissatisfaction of our fellow citizens, and therefore also of health workers, because of the system, which is not adapted to the needs of either citizens or healthcare workers,” she said.

Husnic says that if we don’t know how to communicate, we lose every form of good relationship on all levels.

“The most sensitive form of communication is between a healthcare worker and a patient. When we are sick, we are helpless and ask for help. We are looking for someone who will listen to us, and that someone who listens to us should also help us. From the first contact, he looks at us, we look at him. He first looks at our mood, and then we have to make a connection between us, where we will get a patient who is an adequate interlocutor. If we have not made that connection, the patient automatically creates a barrier, then we do not have the right information with which to help our patient,” she said.

Zaimovic believes that if citizens are not satisfied with the service, it is best to complain to the health institution and the health inspection.

“Professional behavior is often confused with the relationship. The doctor-patient relationship is something else than the professional behavior itself. Both are disturbed in our system, which is influenced by the environment we live in, the culture, and the level of education. We see that our environment is tolerant of unprofessional behavior and violence, which is also transmitted to the health system. The organization of work in health institutions, with the number of employees, with the level of technology at their disposal, the organization of the space, the crowds present, the training of the people, also affects it,” he said.

Vasiljevic states that there are bidirectional reasons that lead to misunderstandings in the doctor-patient relationship.

“Health workers are often overworked. There are many examinations during the day, there is a heavy burden on family medicine specialists. There needs to be a certain understanding when we talk about long waits. Health workers sometimes find it difficult to achieve everything in their daily activities, which results in somewhat worse service in some cases,” he said, N1 reports.


E. Dz.

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