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Dr Goran Stamenković, Assistant Minister Of Health And Head Of The Working Group Of The Coordination Commission For The Suppression Of Covid-19

Together With NALED, We Can Do Much Better

We began Covid-19 with a large staff deficit, but we managed to maintain the quality of our work. Digitalization is one of the most important drivers of better inspections, but we also need more modern and better equipment and training for our inspectors

Dr Goran Stamenković, Assistant Minister of Health and Head of the Working Group of the Coordination Commission for the Suppression of Covid-19, won NALED’s special team recognition this year for his contribution to reducing the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

What kind of challenges have you met in your work during the pandemic?

Last year, Covid-19 completely occupied the personnel capacities of the Sanitary Inspection. The Border Sanitary Inspection was fully engaged in March, April and May, the Territorial Sanitary Inspection spent two months at the border and the fight against the coronavirus continued after May 2020. A special Working Group was formed on 23 October to coordinate the Republic inspections, and it later grew into the Working Group for the Coordination of the Work of Republic and Local Inspections. When amendments to the Law on the Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases were adopted on 13 November 2020, it was given the task of supervision in special epidemic situations.

Local inspections, primarily the communal police and inspection, were given the same authorization as the sanitary inspection, and then our joint work gained momentum, effectiveness, efficiency, but also visibility in the field.

With the help of NALED, we have made a huge advance in reforming the inspection services, in the way they work and in digitalization. A good atmosphere has been created and a high-quality foundation for further progress

The Sanitary Inspection, for which you are directly responsible, was among the first to implement the e-Inspector system, and introduced an electronic system for timely communication with people entering the country. What are the results?

In 2020, we held 217,771 office and field inspections, almost three times more than usual. This is an exceptional effort because more than 150,000 decisions were issued in 2020 just for home quarantine.

We began Covid-19 with a large staff deficit. Last year, we had 96 territorial and 26 border inspectors at our disposal, but we mostly worked with about 70 inspectors from the Ministry of Health, 18 at the border and about 40 inspectors from the Provincial Sanitary Inspection, who are separate from the Ministry of Health.

Digitalization is one of the most important conditions for even better operational work, and for digitalization we need even better and more modern equipment for inspectors. Reform of inspections began in 2017. How do you rate the current cooperation with NALED and the EBRD? Based on all the data, reports and experience of sanitary inspectors participating in the reform since 2017, I can say that our cooperation is extremely successful. NALED has really turned things around with the reform, created an atmosphere and high-quality foundation for further progress. We have also taken part in all this, made a great contribution, but I think we can do much better.