Accreditation of health institutions and licensing of health workers important for patient safety

 

Serbia’s Minister of Health Tomica Milosavljevic has stated that the accreditation of health institutions and licensing of health workers will increase the level of patient safety and improve efficiency in Serbian hospitals. He has set up an Agency for Accreditation of Health Care Institutions, tasked with developing an accreditation programme modelled on the most successful such programmes in Europe. The EU has endorsed this project with funding of €1.5 million. One of Serbia’s key partners will be the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). NICE International works with individual governments or funding agencies to support local teams develop local solutions. It offers strategic advice, technical support, and input on strengthening existing or designing new decision-making frameworks. Recent European projects have been in Georgia and Estonia.

Snezana Manic is director of the Agency for Accreditation of Health Care Institutions and emphasizes those health workers and patients will benefit from accreditation. She notes that according to the law on health care, accreditation is voluntary, but the agency is contemplating the introduction of a form of obligatory accreditation so that all institutions will be forced to meet a minimal standard of quality and patient safety. External assessors have already been appointed and trained.

Serbia is a destination for dental tourism but not surgery. The government and local businesses see better long-term potential in spa and wellness tourism. Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said at the opening of the renovated hotel Izvor in Arandjelovac that Serbia has potential to develop spa tourism. Cvetkovic called on investors to invest in other spas in Serbia, and pointed out, “2011 is the 200th anniversary of existence of Bukovicka spa. It is a great jubilee, which shows a long tradition of spa tourism. It is often thought that Serbia is not a significant tourist destination like some other countries that have sea and mountains. However, we can be proud of spa tourism. Businessmen have recognised this and this hotel in Arandjelovac confirms that it is time for Serbia to start with revitalisation of spa tourism. The support in this undertaking must be provided by local communities and the Serbian government as well.”

The five-star hotel Izvor in Arandjelovac has been opened after seven years of reconstruction. It is the first luxurious conference, spa and wellness centre in Serbia, whose reconstruction cost €35 million. The hotel can host 550 guests and has 165 rooms. The completely new facility has three equipped conference rooms, six swimming pools, wellness and spa centres, which can host 3500 people. ALCO group built the hotel. The group is building four other four and five star hotels in Serbia, while preparing to buy or build other hotels in tourist areas in Belgrade and other parts of Serbia.

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