We want everyone in Serbia to be healthy, and we’re working hard to make that happen.

by Cristian Florescu

As Serbia seeks to improve its healthcare system and provide universal health coverage, Minister of Health Dr Danica Grujičić travelled to the WHO Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen this week. This is the first such visit by a Serbian minister of health to the Regional Office in 12 years, and it shows the Serbian government’s dedication to improving its citizens’ health.

This marked the first in-person meeting between WHO Regional Director for Europe, Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge and Minister Grujičić, accompanied by Dr Fabio Scano, the Regional Director’s Special Envoy for the Western Balkans. This was an important meeting as it allowed for discussing ways to improve healthcare in the Western Balkans region.

One of the key issues that were discussed was how to better define the scope for future collaboration on an integrated model of primary health care for Serbia. This model would incorporate a range of services, including mental health care and a greater focus on tackling non-communicable diseases such as tobacco-related illnesses.

It is important to continue improving the resilience of Serbia’s healthcare system to respond to future emergencies, based on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO and UNDP will provide support for this initiative, with funding from the EU.

“WHO/Europe commends Serbia for adopting what I call a dual-track approach to public health: better preparing for the increased emergencies we know lie ahead in an era of perpetual crisis while ensuring that the health system can still deliver essential daily health services to the public,” said Dr Kluge.

The establishment of a “PHC incubator” in Serbia during the next 6 months will require human resources investments to deliver expanded services. This initiative will also facilitate a shift in the prevention, treatment and care of noncommunicable diseases including cancer, and improved access to mental health programmes. This will enable people to get the services they need closer to their homes.

Serbia is proud of its achievements in the last 10 years in terms of infrastructure and the construction of new hospitals. However, Minister Grujičić believes that now is the time to focus on the organization and improvement of health care, with a particular focus on primary health care.

WHO will also collaborate with Serbia on governance aspects of health information systems and the e-health agenda, as well as provide continued support to strengthening the capacities of the national regulatory authority on the benchmarking of vaccines, medicines and blood supplies and products. This latter support will help prepare Serbia for the entire transfer of WHO mRNA vaccine know-how and technologies, and for producing safe medicines and other products in line with the highest international standards.

Serbia has shown interest in becoming more involved in the governance of WHO by taking part in important WHO governing bodies.

0 comment

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More