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Milan Marković, General Manager, Smurfit Kappa Belgrade

Returning Treated Water to the Danube

Here Milan Marković, General Manager of Smurfit Kappa Belgrade, shares his insights about the company’s legacy and innovative strides in environmental protection Founded in 1921...

Bogdan Gavrilović, Managing Director, WTO Serbia

Transport and Logistics Without Borders

World Transport Overseas is one of the fastest-growing logistics companies in Eastern Europe, with branches in Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia,...

Vesna Jovanović, Director, EurologSystem

Connecting Italy and Serbia by Rail

EurologSystem, which is set to commemorate two decades of successful operations in 2025, transports an average of 500,000 tons of goods annually, primarily agricultural...

Branko Milikić, Business Development Director at Halcom Serbia

Innovations in Digital Banking

Halcom is a leader in the domain of digital banking and banking solutions. This company has spent 30 years enabling the safe and efficient...

Dragana Ašić Ratkovac, Business Manager Consulting & Tax Advisor at Unija Consulting d.o.o. Beograd

Our View of the Tax World and What’s Important

The success of companies in today’s world depends, among other things, on the ability to adapt to constant amendments to tax laws. My experience...

Dr Rade Panić, Anaesthesiologist And President Of The Union Of Doctors And Pharmacists Of Serbia

The Pandemic Exposed All Health System Flaws

The consequences of COVID-19 have so far led to the deaths of 111 doctors, pharmacists and dentists in Serbia, while the number of nurses, technicians and other healthcare employees who’ve lost their lives remains unknown. Such statistics are just one of the many symptoms of the fact that the pandemic was met without a plan and wasn’t responded to well.

When we found out last December that the epidemic that had appeared in China would spread to encompass the whole world, we were, unfortunately, good prognosticators. We announced, as a union, that it would expose all the shortcomings of the healthcare system. The consequences for public health are already great, and we are afraid that they’ll be even greater in the future. From the outset we didn’t have sufficient numbers of health workers, not even as many as are prescribed and required by the Law. Under such conditions, unfortunately, the Ministry didn’t respond to our first request to hire all doctors, nurses and technicians registered with the unemployment bureau.

We had a lack of protective equipment, which was initially very pronounced and subsequently grew to become chronic, while we were confronted by ignorance and a lack of information about what kind of tests are done for coronaviruses and whether they are conducted according to indications or some other criteria. Likewise, the workers who were hired at COVID units weren’t adequately transferred and no consideration was given to maintaining the capacity of the healthcare system.

In the midst of the pandemic, public consultations were organised on a new plan to optimise the network of healthcare institutions in the republic of Serbia which, in the opinion of the union of doctors and pharmacists, would be disastrous for the healthcare sector.

We should add to this poor organisation, the fact that acting directors of health institutions thought more about keeping their position during the epidemic than they thought about organising healthcare, which was particularly aggravated during the epidemic, then they thought more about the forming of illegitimate bodies, such as the crisis headquarters, instead of the Republic Expert Commission and respecting the authority of the Batut Institute for public health, as well as the failure of Health Minister Zlatibor Lončar to take all necessary steps. All of this led to us ending up with the pandemic having major consequences, to the false reducing of figures for both those who have succumbed and those who are newly infected, although we are probably among the worst in the world.

When it comes to the deaths of health workers, The consequences of COVID-19 have so far led to the deaths of 111 doctors, pharmacists and dentists in Serbia, while the number of nurses, technicians and other healthcare employees who’ve lost their lives remains unknown. Our fear is that the announced optimisation of healthcare, the public debate on which has been faked more than conducted during the epidemic, will lead to us not only suffering from the consequences of the epidemic, but suffering even more from bad reform. We consider the proposal to privatise public healthcare as disastrous for the inhabitants of Serbia. We have submitted our proposals and will continue to do so. The Ministry, unfortunately, doesn’t respect us, despite us having 6,700 members among the 19,500 doctors who are employed in the state healthcare system. We consider ourselves an obligatory negotiator, as the holders of jobs in a domain of general social importance, and we are seeking urgent insight into the numbers and the database of the deceased and new patients. We also consider that the public debate on health optimisation should be extended and the current proposal should be abandoned, as it is harmful.

By Emmanuel B. Nyirinkindi, IFC's Vice President of Cross-Cutting Solutions

Public-Private Partnerships Key to Serbia’s Green Future

Five years ago, dark, polluted water with a foul smell trickled down from the Vinča landfill, sending toxic pollutants into the Danube. The landfill,...

Comment by Zoran Panovic

Growth Plan

Late April saw the European Parliament give the green light to the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans, with the Council of the European...

Dr Aleksandar Mitić, Institute for International Politics and Economy

Cooperation with China Raised to the Highest Level in Europe

Both Germany and France desire close cooperation with China, so any criticism of Serbia’s close relations with China is an example of double standards I...

Slobodan Zečević Ph.D, Institute for European Studies

Delicate Seesaw

France and Germany have contrasting views on cooperation with China, but the internal reasons for such views don’t automatically relate to their stance regarding...

Mickoski Proposes New Government for North Macedonia

Hristijan Mickoski, leader of VMRO-DPMNE and the designated Prime Minister of North Macedonia, has formally submitted his proposed cabinet...

King Frederick X Inaugurates First Section of Undersea Tunnel Connecting Denmark and Germany

King Frederick X of Denmark has inaugurated the first segment of the ambitious 18-kilometre Fehmarn Belt tunnel beneath the...

Belgrade Hotel Union Sold for €6.2 Million

Hotel Union, a historic landmark in Belgrade, has been sold for 727 million dinars (€6.2 million) at a public...

French Firms Suez and Vinci to Oversee Wastewater Treatment in Belgrade

The Serbian government has enlisted French companies Suez International SAS and Vinci Construction Grands Projets for the design, construction,...

Dušan Živković Named New CEO of Elektroprivreda Srbije

Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) has announced the appointment of Dušan Živković as its new Chief Executive Officer, following a decision...

Mickoski Proposes New Government for North Macedonia

Hristijan Mickoski, leader of VMRO-DPMNE and the designated Prime Minister of North Macedonia, has formally submitted his proposed cabinet...

King Frederick X Inaugurates First Section of Undersea Tunnel Connecting Denmark and Germany

King Frederick X of Denmark has inaugurated the first segment of the ambitious 18-kilometre Fehmarn Belt tunnel beneath the...

Belgrade Hotel Union Sold for €6.2 Million

Hotel Union, a historic landmark in Belgrade, has been sold for 727 million dinars (€6.2 million) at a public...

Public-Private Partnerships Key to Serbia’s Green Future

Five years ago, dark, polluted water with a foul smell trickled down from the Vinča landfill, sending toxic pollutants...

German Voters Dominate, Malta Least Represented in Upcoming European Parliament Elections

As the 2024 European Parliament elections draw near, set to take place from 6 to 9 June, Eurostat has...

Mickoski Proposes New Government for North Macedonia

Hristijan Mickoski, leader of VMRO-DPMNE and the designated Prime Minister of North Macedonia, has formally submitted his proposed cabinet...

King Frederick X Inaugurates First Section of Undersea Tunnel Connecting Denmark and Germany

King Frederick X of Denmark has inaugurated the first segment of the ambitious 18-kilometre Fehmarn Belt tunnel beneath the...

Belgrade Hotel Union Sold for €6.2 Million

Hotel Union, a historic landmark in Belgrade, has been sold for 727 million dinars (€6.2 million) at a public...

Public-Private Partnerships Key to Serbia’s Green Future

Five years ago, dark, polluted water with a foul smell trickled down from the Vinča landfill, sending toxic pollutants...

German Voters Dominate, Malta Least Represented in Upcoming European Parliament Elections

As the 2024 European Parliament elections draw near, set to take place from 6 to 9 June, Eurostat has...
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