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Monitoring of Five Big Psychiatric Hospitals in Serbia – Results Presented

Photo: Media Center Belgrade

Belgrade, April 24, 2014


Press conference was organized on 24 April 2014 at the Media Center in Belgrade in order to present results of the monitoring of five big psychiatric hospitals in Serbia. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia and its partner organization IAN (International Aid Network) were monitoring special psychiatric hospitals in Kovin, Vrsac, Novi Knezevac, Gornja Toponica and Belgrade as a part of the project Civil Society Advocacy for Efficient Protection of Persons with Mental Disorders. This project is implemented with the assistance of the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade and under the auspices of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia, Ombudsman and Provincial Ombudsman.

Speakers at the conference were representatives of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, Ljiljana Palibrk and Jelena Mirkov Subic, and representatives of IAN, Marina Bogdanovic and Tijana Eror. It was stated that treatment at the psychiatric institutions in Serbia is far from contemporary and patients are often under strong medication. Therefore, they are not able to function normally even several days after being given the pharmacotherapy. It was also stated that many patients stay at these hospitals for a long period of time, which is contrary to international practice. More than 50% of patients are placed in psychiatric institutions because of their social circumstances and not because of their health. Compared to the remaining four psychiatric hospitals, Clinic for psychiatric illnesses “Laza Lazarevic” in Belgrade has the best conditions, but the atmosphere is not entirely patient-friendly, which does not help the treatment of patients.

General remark is that a reform of the entire method of the treatment of psychiatric patients is necessary and that individual treatment plans should be developed. Moreover, it is necessary to increase the number of employees in all hospitals and to encourage continuous education of all the hospital staff that provides treatment to patients on a daily basis.

Video of the event can be viewed on MC Web television:















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