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By ISQua Thursday. Jan 17, 2019

ISQua Accreditation & Mental Health were the focus of the 2018 Quality in Healthcare Conference held in December in Sarajevo

The sixth annual Quality in Healthcare Conference hosted by the Agency for Quality and Accreditation in Health of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AKAZ) took place on December 20th and 21st in Sarajevo.  The title this year was “BiH in the EU: Quality as Key to Joining the Circle of the Best.” It was kicked off with the promotion of a new information booklet, “Stories from the Centre,” presenting the personal experiences of service users and providers at mental health centres all around the FBiH.


The importance of international accreditation was a leading theme at the conference.  AKAZ is a member of ISQua and its primary healthcare standards are fully accredited with the international agency as of October 2018.  Elaine O'Connor, Head of International Accreditation Programme and Strategic Partnerships at ISQua, gave a talk on accreditation to an audience of healthcare professionals involved in quality and safety issues in healthcare from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region.


"I am happy to say that since October 2018 AKAZ and BiH have become part of ISQua's International Accreditation Programme accreditation family. I know the process you passed was demanding and I congratulate you on reaching the goal and look forward to continuing cooperation,” said Elaine O'Connor.


AKAZ Director Ahmed Novo presented AKAZ’s activities for 2018, including obtaining ISQua accreditation for the Primary Health Care Standards.


"This places AKAZ among only 42 agencies from 32 countries of the world to have achieved accreditation.  This year’s conference, with more than 270 attendees from BiH and the region, is a success and shows that safety and quality is finally winning the attention it deserves, to the benefit of those working in our healthcare system and those using it – our patients. AKAZ will not stop there, however, as we are planning even greater achievements for our conference in 2019,” said the Director of AKAZ. 


A number of Field Reports by Almir Panjeta have been gathered in a brochure on "Stories from the Centre.” They showcase the work of the centres through the life stories of their beneficiaries and users, leaders and staff, and their unselfish contributions.  The brochure’s goal is to help reduce the stigma that continues to surround mental illness, as well as to promote confidence in the healthcare professionals working in the Mental Health Centres.


According to Panjeta, "When I started touring the Mental Health Centres in June, I embarked on a journey into the unknown and returned having been enriched with the experience of a lifetime. I met dedicated staff and beneficiaries at the centres. I talked with so many of them and heard their life stories, stories that are often difficult and traumatic, but nonetheless carry a positive message, a message of hope.


The seventh annual Quality in Healthcare will be held on December 2019 in Sarajevo. You can find our more information on AKAZ at



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