Earlier this month, the Serbian Minister of Health, Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic, and Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Vincent Degert, presented 54 vehicles for palliative care to the directors of 52 health centres.
The new vehicles are part of a EU-funded project, run in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Serbia, to help establish a comprehensive and modern system of palliative care in Serbia.
At the presentation, held at the Palace of Serbia, Djukic-Dejanovic gave a speech, highlighting recent progress that has been made in improving palliative care in the country.
She said that, as part of the joint project, over 850 healthcare employees and social workers have received training on the importance of palliative care. The Minister also announced plans for there to be 20 fully-operational centres for palliative care by the end of the year – there are currently just four.
The joint project to support the development of palliative care services in the Republic of Serbia began in March 2011 and will last for 36 months, to March 2014.
The EU is providing €3.5 million to the project; €2.5 million is intended for education and the establishment of specialised palliative care service. €0.8 million has been allocated for procurement of vehicles for primary healthcare centres, home care teams and medical equipment for palliative care units to be established in general hospitals and clinical hospital centres.
The Ministry of Health has also dedicated €0.6 million for rehabilitation of premises in the health institutions to host future palliative care units.
Look out for further commentary in ehospice on these developments by Prof Julia Downing.