Twenty health care institutions across Serbia received new ambulances with modern equipment today, thanks to European Union (EU) funds. These vehicles are part of a wider package of assistance to the Serbian health system in the fight against COVID 19, for which the EU has allocated over 17.6 million euros.
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, Ambassador Sem Fabrizi, attended the handover of these vehicles, which will contribute to better and modern equipment for health centres and hospitals in Serbia, and better health care for citizens.
The handover was also attended by the Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimović, the Minister of Health Zlatibor Lončar, the director of the UNOPS office in Serbia, Mikaela Telatin, the director of the Institute of Public Health of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut”, as well as representatives of health institutions that received donations.
“This is very important equipment and a very important thing, especially during a pandemic, at a time when we need oxygen devices and such well-equipped vehicles more than we need. Thank you to the European Union, we are sincerely grateful for this support. I also thank them for their help in the area of structural reforms. And when I say thank you, we really appreciate the money that taxpayers in other countries pay for our country. It is always important for us and in every situation to emphasise that Serbia is on the European path “, said the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić.
„Covid 19 is putting an enormous pressure on the medical and health system in Serbia as elsewhere in the world. The EU – since the outbreak of the pandemic one year ago – has stood by Serbia in full solidarity. As part of our 17 million euro immediate health package we have handed over today 20 ambulances to Serbian hospitals more in need at the presence of the President, the Ministers and the Ambassadors of the Member States of the EU. This donation is an integral part of the larger support from the EU to provide vital medical equipment, hiring Serbian medical personnel and relief on the budget. In this regards, the proposal last week by the Commission to allocate to Serbia 12 million euros as contribution from the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) is another tangible component of our support. Solidarity will continue to be a guiding principle in EUs support to Serbia. In joining forces EU and Serbia – together – will overcome these difficult times and continue to progress on Serbia’s path to the EU”, said the EU Ambassador to Serbia Sem Fabrizi.
The donated 20 vehicles are equipped with oxygen kits, mobile respirators, defibrillators, stretchers, cardiac chairs, and other devices that will contribute to medical services being even more prepared to take care of emergencies.
They were delivered to health centers in Gornji Milanovac, Kraljevo, Krusevac, Leskovac, Golubac, Knjazevac, Pirot, Krupanj, Zagubica, Bujanovac, Medvedja and Jagodina, as well as general hospitals in Cuprija, Bor, Novi Pazar, Smederevska Palanka, Loznica, and Gradski. the Institute for Emergency Medical Aid, the Special Hospital “St. Sava” and the Clinical Hospital Center Bežanijska kosa.
The donation of ambulances worth a total of 800,000 euros was provided by the European Union, in cooperation with the Ministry of European Integration, repurposed from EU-supported projects in Serbia, implemented by UNOPS, which also procured the necessary medical and non-medical equipment.
In cooperation with UNOPS, 140 fully equipped triage containers, dozens of intensive care monitors, respirators, non-contact thermometers, oxygen concentrators, 800,000 protective masks, two devices and reagents for PCR tests were procured. In addition, in order to strengthen the Serbian health care system for the coronavirus vaccination process, the European Union helped procure freezers and refrigerators for storing vaccines, as well as 26 vehicles for transporting vaccines across the country.