Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/08/2014 -- Serbia spends over 10% of GDP on healthcare, the highest proportion in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE). However, Serbia is one of the poorest countries in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE), in per capita terms. In 2013, GDP per capita stands at US$6,159, around half that found in Russia. The economy is expected to register real growth of 1.3% in 2013, but is forecast to increase by an average 4.0% per annum between 2014 and 2018. According to the 2013 budget, the government is aiming to reduce the budget deficit from 6.5% of GDP in 2012 to 3.6% in 2013 in order to increase its prospects of rejoining the IMF Stand-By Arrangement. It aims to achieve this through increases in VAT, corporate and income taxes; real reductions in pensions and public sector wages; and cuts in subsidies.
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The Serbian government is continuing to reform the healthcare system. In recent years, an extensive programme of renovation has been undertaken, with the help of external financing from international organisations such as the World Bank. In November 2012, it was pointed out that the MoH has received significant funding from the CARDS programme and the IPA since 2000. IPA funds are currently being used to help with the integration of health information systems in healthcare facilities.
Around 90% of the medical device market is supplied by imports. In the 12 months to April 2013, imports decreased by 18.5%, to US$134.0mn. Decreases were seen in all sectors except for dental products, which rose by 1.9%. Consumables, patient aids and other medical devices accounted for the largest decreases, at 26.9%, 24.4% and 17.1%, respectively.
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