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J. Joksimović: Healthcare professionals carry the burden, their strengthening important for Serbia

July 15 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Healthcare professionals carry the burden, their strengthening important for Serbia

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has stated today that the signed agreement with the EU on engaging additional 200 healthcare professionals will enable the strengthening of human capacities of the Serbian healthcare system, noting that this is essential and crucial for Serbia.    

In an online statement, Joksimović has said that the moment is such that the signing of the agreement has been one of the most important events in the EU’s continuous support to Serbia since the beginning of the pandemic, emphasising that healthcare professionals carry an immense burden.    

According to her, they are working under extremely difficult circumstances, not only due to the number of infected people, but also because they sympathise with the problems of others and because they are constantly exposed to risk.  

 “We have to focus and help in terms of strengthening Serbia’s healthcare capacities”, stressed Joksimović.    

According to her, in mid-June, at the initiative of the EU that was interested in what else could be done, the Ministry of Health submitted a request for financial assistance aimed at engaging additional healthcare teams for a limited period to provide assistance where it was most necessary.

The Minister has emphasised that they received a formal response on 3 July confirming that Serbia could allocate EUR 1 million from IPA 2018. The Ministry of European Integration, in cooperation with the EU Delegation to Serbia, had already identified unused funds from the previous IPA allocations that could be reallocated for various forms of the fight against COVID-19.“

After a discussion that experts from our Institute ‘Batut’, the European Commission and UNOPS will have, this EUR 1 million will enable the engagement of around 200 people who will be grouped in the so-called health teams that will include one doctor, two sanitary engineers and one administrative worker,” explained Joksimović.  

 She has thanked Head of the EU Delegation Sem Fabrizi for his personal engagement, as well as the EU Delegation to Serbia and Ms Michela Telatin from UNOPS that also helped Serbia to overcome the first stage of the pandemic in March and April.    

She has stressed that the EU’s generous assistance in the purchase of equipment, in particular through funds aimed at purchasing the equipment that was delivered in full during the previous week, has been extremely important and that it has additional strengthened Serbia’s healthcare system.    

“However, we can see that the pandemic is not waning either in Serbia or in Europe or across the globe, which calls for continuous caution, responsibility, as well as continuous cooperation and exchange of information with all our partners, especially with the EU, which in the previous years has helped us to strengthen our healthcare system,” said Joksimović.    

Recalling that the EU has been providing assistance throughout the entire period of the pandemic, Joksimović has said that, during March and April, she personally engaged in an incessant and dedicated work with Fabrizi, Olivér Várhelyi and people from the Serbian Government to ensure as much funding as possible for the purchase of necessary equipment.    According to her, Serbia has also helped EU countries as much as it could, recalling that Serbia provided assistance to Italy and the countries of the region.    

“But the pandemic is still ongoing and we must continuously demonstrate responsibility, caution, as well as cooperation,” stated the Minister.    

Expressing gratitude on behalf of the Government of Serbia for an extremely significant donation and funds aimed at strengthening human capacities, Joksimović has said that today’s signing is another proof of the EU’s solidarity with Serbia.  

“As well as [proof] of our responsible and dedicated work on the European path, but also, at this moment, primarily on the protection of public health and health of the Serbian citizens,” added Joksimović.

Source: Tanjug