Author(s): Sheiman I, Shevski V
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Abstract Fragmentation in organization and discontinuities in the provision of medical care are problems in all health systems, whether it is the mixed public-private one in the USA, national health services in the UK, or insurance based one in Western Europe and Russia. In all of these countries a major challenge is to strengthen integration in order to enhance efficiency and health outcomes. This article assesses issues related to fragmentation and integration in conceptual terms and argues that key attributes of integration are teamwork, coordination and continuity of care. It then presents a summary of service integration problems in Russia and the results of a large survey of physicians concerning the attributes of integration. It is argued that characteristics of the national service delivery model don't ensure integration. The Semashko model is not an equivalent to the integrated model. Big organizational forms of service provision, like polyclinics and integrated hospital-polyclinics, don't have higher scores of integration indicators than smaller ones. Proposals to improve integration in Russia are presented with the focus on the regular evaluation of integration/fragmentation, regulation of integration activities, enhancing the role of PHC providers, economic incentives. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Health Policy
and referenced in Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems