Chaos and corruption: an everyday tale of health care in MacedoniaBMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7425.1235 (Published 20 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1235
- Katka Krosnar, freelance journalist
My first impression was of chaos as crowds of people milled around in a dimly lit corridor. This was the State Hospital in Skopje, the main healthcare facility in Macedonia, and I was accompanying my friend's mother to hospital on the day that she was due to be admitted for treatment to a blocked artery.
My second impression was dismay. People shoved forward each time a door opened and a doctor appeared. There was no admissions desk or reception area, no organisation, seating, or even any signs.
After pushing our way to the front we were sent to another floor where there was similar chaos. Eventually, the surgeon who had seen my friend's mother a month earlier called her into his small bare office and claimed that he had no record of her being due for admission that day.
Tearful, she was sent home—a two and a half hour drive away—and told to call the …