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Sustainable Rural Healthcare Entrepreneurship: A Case Study of Serbia

  • This article deals with the under-researched phenomenon of rural health entrepreneurship and its major characteristics. The purpose of this study is to explicate the process of providing health services in rural areas of a developing country and their relation to SDGs. The paper is based on six semi-structured interviews conducted with Serbian health entrepreneurs in rural areas (two private practices, two policlinics, and two dental practices), a review of laws and strategies relevant to the field, and three sessions of discussions with eight experts (four authors and four additional experts). The research methodology follows an empirical, mixed-method case study research procedure. The results are presented in relation to the aspects of frugality, family orientation, and sustainability-oriented innovation. The timeline of the six case studies demonstrates the increasing importance of health entrepreneurs in rural areas due to the aging population and, therefore, increased needs for quality healthcare in these areas. The financing instruments have also become more formal and substantial in recent years, enabling the growth of healthcare businesses in rural areas. However, a major obstacle to further sustainable development remains the non-refundability of services before the state-owned, obligatory health fund, creating major social inequalities, especially in rural areas.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Ivan Paunović, Sotiris Apostolopoulos, Ivana Božić Miljković, Miloš Stojanović
Parent Title (English):Sustainability
Article Number:1143
Number of pages:27
Place of publication:Basel
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2024/01/29
Copyright:© 2024 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
Funding:This research was supported through partial funding of the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences.
Keyword:COVID-19 pandemic; case study methodology; family business; frugal innovation; health management; health policy; rural entrepreneurship; sustainability and innovation; sustainability-oriented innovation; sustainable business models
Departments, institutes and facilities:Centrum für Entrepreneurship, Innovation und Mittelstand (CENTIM)
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 65 Management, Öffentlichkeitsarbeit / 650 Management und unterstützende Tätigkeiten
Entry in this database:2024/01/31
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International