Healthcare System Restructuring and the Effects of Globalization on Post-Soviet Transitional Economies
PATRICIA A. CHOLEWKA
IJED, Vol. 6 No. 4, (2004)
Initial strategic priorities identified by the global community for the post-Soviet nations upon acquiring independence were for macroeconomic reengineering. While it was generally acknowledged that the functioning of the social welfare system of the Soviet Union was inefficient and ineffective, emphasis on the improvement of healthcare quality and safety, cost reduction, and revenue enhancement for fiscal viability remained unaddressed during post-Soviet economic restructuring. Microeconomic institutional management focused on organizational processes and human capital development, especially for the healthcare sector, was largely ignored. In addition, the need for gauging patient satisfaction, providing a more supportive clinical environment for practitioners, and strengthening the teaching and research environment was becoming more evident. Mechanisms to track program results and fiscal responsibility remained absent from any reengineering plan. This situation remains the same today even as many of these nations are participating in international organizations such as the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the United Nations (UN) in their efforts to globalize their health systems. This paper will examine some of the many challenges facing these health systems as they rapidly transition from communism to more globally focused democratic governments all within a period of just over a decade.