Institutional Environment A framework for defining health and health-research policy does not exist at the state level due to the fact that on that level, there is no national Ministry of Health or any other national agency with the aim to create and carry on the activities connected with defining scientific-research policies in health. Therefore, the framework for strategies and policies in health research belongs exclusively to entities in RS and FBiH and Cantons in FBiH, which are based upon constitutional defined jurisdiction of entities/cantons and their Ministries.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is located in the southeast of Europe and it is decentralized and consists of two governing entities and one district - Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Republic of Srpska (RS), and District Brcko. It has to be emphasised that BiH has a specific constitutional decentralized system, with high independence of governing Entities. This results in the existence of autonomous entity legislatives, where each of the two entities has its own governing and administration system.
The majority of the existing Research and Development (R&D) infrastructure is located at public universities, where most of these kinds of activities are being conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Science, research and development Institutes in public and private ownership, in most of the cases, do not have any material and technical capacities, including human resources, required for conduction of activities they are registered for. In other words, they are not engaged in the development of new products and new technologies, but more on expert and theoretical work. Almost all science and research development institutes, which significantly contributed to the technological development of BiH, vanished. Most of them were demolished in the war, and the surviving ones have poor intensity of activities, doing mainly routine tasks and projects. The main problem for more-or-less all remaining institutes are available and qualified human resources, which are not good base ground for serious Science and Research work.
More intensive intersectoral cooperation between institutes and industry is not possible because the majority of research laboratories are insufficiently equipped. Generally speaking, research for industrial purposes is at a very low level. Potentially usable science and research capacities are located at Universities, but because of the lack of financing they are not performing their main role - research. Universities have mainly lost their science and research characteristic and turned into colleges for providing academic education with the absence of research activities performed by professors.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a potential candidate for EU membership. A framework for defining health and health-research policy does not exist at the state level due to the fact that on that level, there is no national Ministry of Health or any other national agency with the aim to create and carry on the activities connected with defining scientific-research policies in health. The Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH only has a coordination role in the process of scientific research in the field of health in the part referring to international cooperation.