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Serbia, Bulgaria Sign Agreement on Cooperation

Serbian Minister of Health Tomica Milosavljevic and his Bulgarian counterpart Radoslav Gajdarski signed an agreement on cooperation from 2006 to 2008.

Milosavljevic said that the agreement envisages exchanging experiences on national health policies, cooperation in sanitary and epidemic control, and health education of citizens.

He said that the experiences of Bulgaria, which is about to become a full EU member, in the field of health are important and similar to Serbia's, and that the health systems of two countries are linked.

Milosavljevic explained that following the visit of the Bulgarian Minister of Health to Serbia, concrete steps will be made in the realisation of the agreement reached, through the formation of an independent agency for transplantation of organs, education of medical staff, nurses and doctors, as well as through direct cooperation among experts, all of which is part of Serbia's preparations in the field of health for European integration.

Milosavljevic said that reforms in the health system will include implementation of high standards in the area of blood transfusion and the adoption of a special law on blood transfusion, the formation of blood banks, better organisation of health institutions, reforms in the psychiatry department, as well as changes in the capacity of hospitals.

According to Milosavljevic, Serbia realises active regional cooperation with Bulgaria, especially in the exchange of information on the bird flu virus that appeared in areas around Sombor, and earlier on the border between Bulgaria and Serbia.

Bulgarian Minister of Health Radoslav Gajdarski said that there are many problems that Serbia and Bulgaria have to resolve prior to receiving full membership in the EU, through the implementation of measures and recommendations of the EU.

He recalled that many eastern European countries which are now members of the EU have travelled that path, and added that Bulgaria will help Serbia overcome difficulties and obstacles in adaptation to European standards.

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