Health care


By the Sultan’s edict from 1830, Serbs received the right to establish their own hospitals. Priority was given to building military hospitals and in that sense a hospital was quickly established in an impromptu manner in 1836 in Savamala. The first “planned” military hospital was completed in 1849.

After establishing a so-called “hospital and school fund”, with the goal of creating a state source of privately-funded donations from which hospitals and schools would be constructed and maintained, in 1837 the first step was made in the construction of a city hospital. The hospital started to operate in 1868 and was for years the largest and best-equipped hospital in Belgrade.

In 1876, during the war, reserve military hospitals were organized, a Russian, English and Serbian one. They were opened and maintained by contributions and donations.

Better health service conditions opened up the issues of establishing a social care home, for those who were ill or exhausted or without any means.

A decision on constructing new hospitals was made at the beginning of the 20th century. In Western Vracar new hospitals were built, which, after the establishment of the School of Medicine in 1920, together with the newly built facilities for the needs of the clinics and institutes and the Central Hygiene Institute made a hospital compound.

After World War II, the new socialist government organized a network of health and social services where out-patient and in-patient treatments were free. The already existing buildings were renovated and new health institutions built.

In the hospital grounds in West Vracar, a large, modern building for the Clinical Center was constructed. Only the out-patient department on the ground floor was equipped and used.

During the last two decades of the 20th century, the health services faced a huge crisis. There was a general lack of medicines, normal sanitary equipment supplies; medical equipment could not be purchased or repaired, hospitals lacked elementary conditions and supplies. During the past years the situation has greatly improved, primarily after private medical practices were allowed, after which the first private out-patient departments and clinics were established.


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