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Interview

Visit by the Owner of Polyclinic FM Fadila Milavica, 09. 04. 2015.

 

INTERVIEW: FADILA MILAVICA, OWNER OF POLYCLINIC FM

 

By: Ena ČOLPA

SARAJEVO, April 20 (ONASA) – The owner of the Polyclinic FM Fadila Milavica in an interview for ONASA Agency speaks, among other things, on the establishment and operations of the Polyclinic, the services that provides, and on women’s entrepreneurship and the state of health care in BiH in relation to the region, …

ONASA: How did you get the idea to establish a Polyclinic? Did you have some sort of support from colleagues or anyone in the health field, and how was your path to success?

MILAVICA: During the whole of my career, I had the good fortune and privilege to work with top experts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and abroad, and to work in leading medical institutions, which largely guided my professional work.
Since I was one of the pioneers in private practice in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I also had the opportunity to observe in practice what the deficiencies of health in BiH are, but at the same time working with patients, feel the need for a new group of potential patients, particularly in the field of gynecology, orthopedics, physical therapy and sports medicine.
It is, among other things, a reason to begin the establishment of the Polyclinic FM in 2004, in order to more adequately respond to the increasingly complex demands of patients.
Therefore, the key role was played by our team, already then qualified to provide patients with the best standard of service.
We have all worked to overcome various problems, of bureaucratic nature in the first place.
Our ultimate goal, of course is the improvement of health in BiH especially in the segment where we took over the role of the leader.
Since then, for ten years, FM Polyclinic successfully operates, and is constantly growing.
In its beginnings, Polyclinic FM was a practice for physical therapy and rehabilitation, and then in 2007 it grew into a polyclinic for internal medicine – cardiology, ultrasound diagnostics and orthopedic physical therapy.
We expanded our capacities once again in 2010 to a one-day endoscopic surgery in the field of orthopedics and gynecology.
This path was not easy for Polyclinic FM, and for me personally, but with hard work and persistence I believe that we have made noteworthy success and hopefully positive trend in the future.

ONASA: How many staff does your Polyclinic have and what services do you provide for your patients?

MILAVICA: Polyclinic FM boasts excellent staff which currently employs about 20 members, including prominent academics, professors, doctors of science, MAs, who with their experience and knowledge greatly contribute to the success of the Polyclinic.
We offer services in internal medicine, one day endoscopic surgery in the field of orthopedics and gynecology, as well as the services of physical therapy and rehabilitation.
However, in addition to the above, I think that the basic and most important service we offer to our patients, is human and close relationship with patients and high quality work.
Every day I tried to acquire as much knowledge and experience as possible, especially in the organization of work.
The most valuable and most important knowledge I have obtained is to recognize a superior doctor.
The privilege is to bring together top experts in different medical fields in one place.
Only a dedicated team working inexorably towards a common goal – can provide the patient a complete and quality medical treatment.
Nothing is left to chance, we do not separate more and less important things or team members, and in all this our main ally on the path of healing is actually the patient.
Also, we constantly strive to further improve and monitor progress in medicine.
It may sound like a phrase but, believe me, without continuous training and monitoring modern technology, no team can be successful.
On the other hand, our doctors use the latest technology and knowledge accumulated around the world.
It is obvious that our patients recognize not only the basic quality, but also that the Polyclinic FM goes a step further in true loyalty to the patient.
From the moment the patient addresses us with a problem, the phases of diagnosis, the surgery and the postoperative period, our line is open 24 hours and this provides security to our patients that they can rely on us at all times.
On the other hand no less of an important ally on the road to healing is the patient themselves, the confidence and willingness to be a member of our team and actively cooperate on the road to recovery.

ONASA: Is it hard to be successful given the current situation in the health sector and can you compare the situation with that of the countries in the region?

MILAVICA: Of course, as in any business, especially if you introduce new technologies and new approaches that differ in some ways from the usual practice, it is really not easy to be successful in the health sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
To overcome these obstacles and respond to the challenges is worth our efforts with the aim to see a healthy and satisfied patient.
One of the biggest problems we face is the inability to have patients treated in the private health institutions using government health insurance.
This significantly complicates the possibility of patients using our services, and equalizing private with public health care sector would enable better health care.
The patient should be a priority to all of us.
Bottom line is that a patient with health card should be able to choose where to be treated, and that the public and the private sector should be formally and legally equal.
I sincerely believe that this will lead to breakthroughs in the quality of health care in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I hope that the deficiencies in the system of financing as well as non-compliance status of private and public health care will soon be regulated.
After that, the responsibility of the teams of Polyclinic FM or teams of any other medical facilities is to impose themselves to the patients with quality and that to everyone, as it is to the team of Polyclinic FM, genuine concern for the patient is the basic guide.
As for the other countries in the region, we have a lot of contacts with regional and European medical institutions.
It is difficult to comment on the status of health care in other countries, from our perspective, but I can say that we use every opportunity to exchange knowledge and professional staff with the great centers of public and private health care sector, which have already been through similar processes, and try to apply their experience.

ONASA: Have you, throughout your years of experience, as the owner of the Polyclinic FM, encountered certain difficulties in business since you are one of the few women entrepreneurs in BiH?

MILAVICA: Although I would not divide entrepreneurship into female and male, unfortunately, this gap has been emphasized, not only here but also in the world. Even in the most advanced societies it is much more difficult for women at various levels.
In many countries, for example women cannot own land or property, let alone their own company.
It is obvious that even a man difficult to start a private business.
Can you just imagine how it is when a woman dares to ask for a loan to start a business that is larger than say 5.000 BAM.
Imagine, on the other hand, how many talented women are there, whose capacity remains unused because of prejudice against women in business.
This is a loss not only for potential well-being of a family, but also for the general development of society.
We at the Polyclinic FM consider ourselves fortunate in a way, because we help our families, our patients and in all this we feel a deep social responsibility because our health represents the health of our entire community.

ONASA: What services does the Polyclinic usually provide for users, or which problems do the patients usually turn to you with for help?

MILAVICA: Polyclinic FM provides a wide range of services.
If you need an internist, cardiologist, any ultrasound examination, examinations in orthopedics, traumatology, psychiatrist or quality physical therapy, you can undoubtedly rely on our experts.
So, as part of Polyclinic operate traumatology – orthopedic infirmary, infirmary for sports medicine, internal medicine – cardiology infirmary with ultrasound, physical therapy and rehabilitation.
Of course, our specialty is a one-day endoscopic surgery in the field of orthopedics and gynecology.
Thus, the range of our services is wide, and consequently so is the structure of patients who turn to us starting from those who plan a family, the youngest who get ultrasound diagnostics of the hips, but we also treat school age children, athletes, and senior age patients.
Our Polyclinic, is therefore a small family of professionals who do their best to meet the demands of the entire family.

ONASA: Lately in BiH there has been a more intensive trend of treatment in private clinics than in the public ones. In your opinion, what has contributed to this situation?

MILAVICA: It is possible to have an impression that recently the number of those who visit only the private sector has increased.
The point is that times have changed, starting with the fact that the preventive medical examinations are mandatory, and also people’s consciousness about the importance of preventive examinations, knowledge about health, is changing.
Seemingly healthy patients come to us.
They want to prevent a disease and it is a welcomed step.
We should also keep in mind that the awareness is changing and the purchasing power of young business population is increasing, population which keeps to the principle that time is money and wants to finish a complete diagnosis with a multidisciplinary approach and as soon as possible.
For this reason it is often not convenient for them to get treatment in public health institutions, where as a rule they have to spend much more time to even get to the doctor and have to wait even longer for the treatment, and thus miss from work, and waste free time etc.
In these aspects the private health services are more flexible.

ONASA: Do you think that the prices of services in private polyclinics are affordable to citizens of BiH due to the economic situation in our country?

MILAVICA: I already mentioned that I hope that patients will soon have the opportunity to opt where they will be treated with the health care card.
Now in the most cases, treatment in private practice cannot be provide for all.
As for us, speaking from a human aspect, we are not happy about it.
Of course, compared to the prices of medical services in the West, and bearing in mind that we ourselves bear all the costs of equipping the space, introducing new technologies, training, benefits, salaries and taxes, private sector services are not overvalued although of course we know that there are many of our friends and relatives who can not afford it.
I hope that the situation will change, and that it will be allowed to treat patients in private hospitals, and with compulsory health insurance, because I think it will not lead to higher costs for health insurance itself, and that it will facilitate high quality health care for patients.

ONASA: Can you list some of the activities you plan for 2015, such as the expansion of activities?

MILAVICA: As always, we strive to improve and expand our services and improve business of Polyclinic FM, we are currently building new, modern premises in Sarajevo, which we will move into by the end of this year.
These new facilities are planned and built especially for the Polyclinic, so that we will have even better, excellent conditions for the treatment of patients and we will try to raise the standard of service to a higher level, and will further secure the highest level of service and care for our patients.
In these premises we are also preparing a completely new and modern operating rooms, where we will perform a “one day surgery”. In fact, more and more people turn to polyclinics due to the need for surgical procedures with one-day.
Surgeries that once required hospitalization of few days or weeks – now allow release after only a few hours or after less than 24 hours from the treatment.
“Classic surgeries” are increasingly rare, their indication area is narrowing.
In the developed world, the trend of “one-day hospitals” is rapidly increasing, for example, over 90 percent of all surgeries are “one day surgery”.
This will avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and drug consumption, hospital infections, and reduce treatment costs.
The greatest benefit goes to the patient who is released a few hours after surgery or returns home within 24 hours.
We already have a well-developed system in this regard, but for a long there has been the need for capacity expansion.
In this direction, our new one-day hospital in which our top experts will work, will surely be the address to those who believe that top surgeries are only performed abroad. (end)