“People in Vienna, Belgrade and Blac should all receive the same health care”, says doctor Ivana Stefanovic, an emergency medicine specialist, and, judging from her experience, high-quality equipment is the only thing that enables doctors to provide adequate patient care.
“I have been working at the City Institute for Urgent Medical Care in Belgrade for 16 years and I cannot even begin to explain how much ambulances mean to us. They are the core of our service because when you have the possibility for the medical team to come to your home or the scene of an accident - it means that you have shortened your trip, and time is absolutely the key factor in addressing difficult and urgent situations.”
Doctor Stefanovic explains that ambulances are worn out much quicker compared to other vehicles – such as private cars. Now that they have a sufficient number of vehicles, both day and night shifts of the Emergency medical service have their own ambulances. It enables them to “rest” until it is time for them to roam the streets once again and reach the injured and the sick. The medical team rushes to make it within the “platinum ten minutes” that are, as the doctor explains the postulate of emergency medicine.
“Therefore, the donation of ambulances and equipment is especially important to us, as it enables us to have enough ambulances for both day and night shifts and ambulances ready to cover longer distances - if something happens to one of our citizens currently abroad, we are ready to go. If additional teams are needed or if a disaster should happen that requires our aid, we are ready, but only if we have enough people and equipment”, doctor Stefanovic says and adds:
“Our institution has received five ambulances as a donation from the European Union, and they are fully equipped, which is especially significant during a pandemic. The ventilators are particularly important. But what is necessary for our day-to-day work is a defibrillator, which can, under certain circumstances, definitely save lives ", concludes the doctor.
A total of 32 fully equipped vehicles were delivered to hospitals and health centres in the period from November 2020 to March 2021, to overcome the crisis in the health system and to provide care to patients suffering from COVID-19 and those who are not infected.
Additionally, the European Union has been investing in strengthening the health system in Serbia for two decades, long before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. 252 ambulances were donated to Serbia in this period.