"I want to thank the European Union. We received 20 well-equipped ambulance vehicles for 20 places in Serbia - from Bujanovac, Medveđa, Novi Pazar, Loznica, Bor, Žagubica. We are sincerely grateful for this help. Serbia is on the European path and it is important for us to never forget one of the values promoted by the EU - solidarity," said President Vučić.
The vehicles, worth a total of 800,000 Euros, are part of a large support worth more than 17.6m Euros, which the EU has repurposed from existing programmes in Serbia in order to strengthen the national health system to fight Covid-19. Within this assistance, 9.1 million Euros was reallocated from the EU-funded programme implemented by UNOPS, including the EU PRO programme, which participated in the procurement of equipment with EUR 2.1 million.
“The ambulances that 20 healthcare institutions in Serbia have received will particularly be significant for citizens living in smaller towns that do not have such vehicles or have some very old ones”, said Jadranka Joksimović, Minister of European Integration and added that they are fully equipped to serve as mini hospitals, which is essential, because, during the pandemic, they provide a sort of additional health security to our people.
The ambulances equipped with oxygen kits, mobile respirators, defibrillators, stretchers, cardiac chairs, and other devices were delivered to health centers in Gornji Milanovac, Kraljevo, Krusevac, Leskovac, Golubac, Knjaževac, Pirot, Krupanj, Žagubica, Bujanovac, Medveđa and Jagodina, as well as general hospitals in Ćuprija, Bor, Novi Pazar, Smederevska Palanka, Loznica, and City Institute for Emergency Medical Aid, the Special Hospital “St. Sava” and the Clinical Hospital Center Bežanijska kosa.
In addition to 20 ambulances, 140 fully equipped triage containers, dozens of intensive care monitors, respirators, non-contact thermometers, oxygen concentrators, 800,000 protective masks, two devices and reagents for PCR tests were procured in cooperation with UNOPS. To further strengthen the Serbian health system for the coronavirus vaccination process, the European Union helped procurement of freezers and refrigerators for storing vaccines, as well as 26 vehicles for transporting vaccines across the country.
“The EU, since the outbreak of the pandemic one year ago – has stood by Serbia in full solidarity. This donation is an integral part of the greater support of the European Union that enabled provision of key medical equipment, employment of medical staff and support to the budget. In this regard, the proposal of the European Commission to allocate an additional 12 million Euros for Serbia in the coming period as a contribution from the EU Solidarity Fund is another tangible component of our support. Solidarity will continue to be the guiding principle of EU support for Serbia. By joining forces, together, the EU and Serbia will overcome these difficult times and continue with Serbia's progress on the path to EU membership, "said the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Ambassador Sem Fabrizi, during the handover.