Health care

Health professionals advise residents how to achieve their right to health care in health institutions, especially community health centers, with their chosen doctor. Epidemiological surveys conducted by community health services, are in order to create a preliminary insight into the overall health of the Roma population and the most common health problems that follow. The community health centers provided medical examinations required for school enrollment and preparatory preschool program for all children during the first six months of the 2011. Health care services for children are organizing special controls, pediatric, physiatric, dental, speech function tests, laboratory tests and other tests as may be necessary. The pediatricians of health centers are working continuously on the completion of each of the childs vaccination. During the visits they are checking vaccination cards of the children and carry out vaccinations. Cooperation with the Office of the World Health Organization in Belgrade is achieved through the continued support and joint activities. There was a research on the health status of Roma population in Serbia, in 2009, in which was particularly analyzed the status of persons living in Roma settlements in Belgrade. The research is continued in 2011 with the aim to compare data obtained from respondents in settlements, with the data from medical documents in health centers.

A representative of the Secretariat for Health Care is a member of the Advisory Board for Health and Environment SWIFT (Sustainable Waist Initiative for Healthier Tomorrow), a project of the World Health Organization. The most important planned activity of this project is setting up a recycling and sorting waste centre – a SWIFT centre, integration of the present informal recycling units into regional waste management strategies, if conditions permit, enhancement of efficiency and rate of recycling, improvement of accessibility of health care and access to health care institutions, as well as use of health care services, enhancement of knowledge related to health issues and promotion of health.

City of Belgrade supported the opening of the SWIFT center in the Municipality of Zvezdara in the beginning of the 2011. After six months of work during the first half of 2011, the first recycling center has marked increase in economic activity. One month period is enough to collect over 30 tons of waste, thus providing 75% of salaries, developing cooperation with large companies, associations of businessmen, planning the expansion of membership and the opening of two new centers during the second half of 2011. In the The municipalities of Rakovica and Čukarica. The Occupational Health Service Health Centre Zvezdara also provided, free check-ups for all employees at the recycling center, as well as necessary health care for their families. It should be noted that the activities in 2011 have been directed at information-sharing and education regarding the rights within the health care system, as well as on healthy life styles and avoidance of health risks, with monitoring of the change in behaviour. Visits of the health professionals teams to the settlements have become regular practice. There are also activities aiming to raise funds for procurement of medical drugs and auxiliary medicinal devices that cannot be obtained by prescription, but represent a significant burden for modest budgets of the citizens who live in the settlements.

Current Activities

Good practices of any social programme are especially focused on good quality of life and accessibility of health services to poor citizens. It was precisely such concept that was taken as a basis for the implementation of health care programme at the new communities where resettled citizens reside.

The Secretariat for Health Care has reorganized five primary health care centres (Dom zdravlja) in the municipalities where resettled citizens from Gazela live in order to continuously provide monthly visits to the new settlements. Health care is directly offered by teams from the primary health care centres. At set times, once a month, a team consisting of a general practitioner, paediatrician, field nurse and a Roma mediator pays a visit. During these visits, the physicians check those patients who cannot come to the health centres themselves and also help disabled individuals with necessary procedures for obtaining orthopaedic aids. 

Through a regular and continuous exchange of information, talks with the resettled citizens and activities at workshops organized on public premises at the settlements, there are also general health education programmes for all community members. Particular emphasis has been put on raising awareness about reproductive health of women, necessity for full vaccination of children, importance of healthy diet and good hygienic habits.

At Roma settlement Kijevo, Dom zdravlja „Rakovica” has been organizing continuous education, while Dom zdravlja „Dr Milutin Ivkovic” – Palilula has been implementing project „Health for All”. The projects include providing health services to members of the Roma population and donation of funds for keeping hygiene.

In all newly created settlements, in order to improve sanitary living conditions and creating an appropriate environment, as basic precondition for the improvement of health of population displaced, the Institute for Biocides and Medical Ecology in September 2011 gave a lecture on hygiene and disinfection, pest and rodent control. The competition in washing hands was held for children and the best have been given rewards. To all residents disinfectants and antibacterial gels, personal hygiene and hand hygiene and posters about hygiene have been distributed.

As a part of regular health control there are also regular checking’s of vaccination status and extraordinary vaccination of children, health education lectures, visits to young mothers and infants according to the field service’s plan of visits, hygienic and epidemiological supervision, selection of a chosen physician at the health care centre, control of lice infection by distributing lice-repellent shampoo, as well as by referring children to a check-up by a dermatologist. On several occasions, pharmacy „Belgrade” has donated preparations for treating lice and scabies distributed to pre-school institutions „Rakovica”, „Barajevo”, „Mladenovac”, „Zemun” and „Cukarica”.

One of the statistical data plastically shows the effect of programs for inclusion of resettled Roma into social healthcare programmes - by the end of 2010, 76.4% of the citizens had health cards. In the first half of 2011, the percentage is raised even more in favor of those with health card and it is 93.62%. From the total population of 470, in newly formed settlements, health cards were provided for 440. According to the amended Regulations on the procedure for achieving the right to compulsory health insurance, the Roma population can get a medical card based on two statements: a personal statement that is the member of Roma population and a personal statement about the place of temporary residence. The efforts of the City of Belgrade to improve health care of relocated residents from the village Gazelle are continued in 2011. There are continuous monthly visits of team of health experts from the health centers - Rakovica, Mladenovac, Zemun, Barajevo and „Dr. Simo Milosevic” – Cukarica, Obrenovac, which results in improving access to health care.