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Ceremony marking 180th anniversary of Military Medical Academy

05. 03. 2024

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Miloš Vučević attended tonight a ceremony to mark the 180th anniversary of the Military Medical Academy at the Guard Club in Topčider.
After extending his congratulations on this important anniversary, Minister Vučević said that on big and significant dates we always have the opportunity to ask a few questions that show us what we have done and what we still have to do.  
- First, let us remember and think how far-sighted was the vision of our predecessors who entrusted us with this great work. Secondly - with how much faith they did it, with how much care and love they approached it, and thirdly, which is important for today's generations - are we worthy of their glory and sacrifice, and what is it that we will hand over to future generations? - said Minister Vučević.
Recalling the most important events in history, from March 2, 1844, when Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević established the Central Military Hospital in the then Principality of Serbia, until now, Minister Vučević said that military healthcare had been under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence, which, according to him, testifies to the fact that military healthcare was and remains a planned and organized activity within the Ministry of Defence.
We have had the Law on the Military Medical Academy since 1960, he said, which defines this institution as a "higher education, scientific and health institution".
- On October 20, 1981, today's MMA building was opened - an architectural wonder, the pride of Belgrade. All local and foreign media reported about it, and there was an extensive article in “Politika” about the event titled "Leap into the 21st Century" - another similarity between contemporary times and Serbia’s architectural revival, which I believe we will achieve together by 2027. A building containing a total floor area of 170,000 m², 14 floors, several thousand employees, and state-of-the-art medical equipment was built. But what is much more impressive than the building itself are the people, doctors, nurses, technicians, and non-medical staff - people who are an inalienable and inseparable part of the Military Medical Academy - said Minister Vučević.
According to him, hundreds of thousands of examinations, thousands upon thousands of surgeries, and other complex interventions have been performed at the Military Medical Academy.
- Thousands of lives were saved and the people and the military felt secure and had the moral strength to defend the homeland knowing that the MMA stood behind them and with them. We can conclude that our ancestors’ vision was a strong and independent Serbia, with a well-equipped military as its striking force. We can also conclude that this thought was alive and indestructible in far more difficult circumstances for our people, and yet our people were building a state and military and surrender was never and will never be an option for us and I believe that we are doing the same today - Minister Vučević said.
Speaking about the future of the MMA, the minister of defence said that we should hand over contemporary achievements to future generations as a torch of freedom so that they could continue to win victories for Serbia.
- This past year alone we opened a new cardiac catheterization lab - angiography room and we procured a new apparatus for the irradiation of blood and blood products. Also, a "cyber knife" is being installed. A linear accelerator has also been provided, as well as a production line for the preparation of magistral drugs, which makes us autonomous in terms of the production of certain types of drugs, practically a small factory. Analyses are being carried out for the renovation of the entire MMA building by the highest energy efficiency standards, and in that sense, we are in the phase of drafting technical documentation, I would like to thank our partners from the EU and the Ministry of Energy for their support and assistance - emphasized Minister Vučević.
There is also a plan to build a diagnostic center, the so-called “mini MMA”, which would include the Emergency Centre, the Institute of Radiology, new scanners, the Poison Control Centre, and the Haemodialysis Centre – he said.
- Based on facts, we can now reply as to whether we are worthy successors to our ancestors. It’s safe to say that we are working in such a fashion that our ancestors would not be embarrassed and that we will leave a stronger Serbia to our descendants. The most important thing about the MMA, if you ask me, is its reputation built thanks to the trust that citizens have in it. That reputation, that trust is the result of the diligent work of generations of doctors, nurses, and technicians, known or unknown to us, who have dedicated years and decades of their lives to looking after the health of our citizens. And that is what obligates you in the years to come and what must be your guide and signpost showing you the direction in which you should go. Our vision is to make sure that Serbia lasts forever, and the MMA plays a human, civilizational, and national role in it. It is our pride and shows the strength of our will and the indomitable spirit of our people, it is a symbol of our victory. Congratulations on your first 180 years, I hope you will continue to provide the best, highest quality health services to all citizens of the Republic of Serbia. Long live the Military Medical Academy, long live the Serbian Armed Forces, long live our homeland Serbia - Minister Vučević said.
Head of the Military Medical Academy, Colonel Prof. Miroslav Vukosavljević, M.D, Ph.D., said that 18 decades was an impressive history and that all employees of the MMA had the desire to make everyday life more beautiful.
- It is part of our profession and it is with true passion that we approach our projects that continue to grow even after 180 years. When I was appointed head of the MMA seven years ago, I knew there would be challenges and life changes, but I was even more aware of the fact that if one’s spirit is fearless, one will hold their head high. Such spirit and enthusiasm have not left me even to this day. And as long as there is creativity, imagination, and courage to make something happen or try something that hasn't been tried before, I am the first in line to do that - said the head of the MMA.
The MMA is proud of all generations of its employees, their achievements, and brave undertakings relating to the diagnoses and treatment of the most difficult diseases. It is always ready to work more and harder, to make progress, to transfer knowledge, and to learn.
To mark the occasion, Colonel Vukosavljević presented Minister Vučević with the first copy of the new monograph prepared for this occasion.
The Best Organizational Units of the MMA Award, which is traditionally awarded on the MMA’s anniversary, this year went to the Clinic for Eye Diseases and the Institute of Microbiology. Colonel Vukosavljević presented the plaques to the head of the Clinic for Eye Diseases, Colonel Prof. Mirko Resan, M.D, Ph.D., and the head of the Institute of Microbiology, Lt. Col. Bojan Rakonjac, M.D.
To mark the Military Medical Academy Day, a medal bearing the name of Dr. Vladan Đorđević, the first Serbian specialist in surgery, the first medical colonel, and former chief of the medical corps of the Serbian Army, was traditionally presented tonight. Colonel Prof. Nebojša Jović, M.D., Ph.D. (retd), long-term head of the Clinic for Maxillofacial Surgery of the Military Medical Academy and head of the Group of Surgical Clinics of the Military Medical Academy and Prof. Radivoje Simić, M.D., Ph.D., a specialist in children's surgery, are this year's winners of the prestigious award for their contribution to the development of Serbian surgery. They were presented with the awards by the head of the Group of Surgical Clinics of the MMA, Col. Prof. Boban Đorđević, M.D., Ph.D.
At tonight's ceremony, a promotional film about the Military Medical Academy produced by the Military Film Centre "Zastava film" of the Public Relations Department was shown. As part of the program, "Stanislav Binički", an artistic ensemble of the Ministry of Defence, and several actors gave performances.
The ceremony was attended by government ministers, MPs, members of the boards of the Minister of Defence and the Chief of the Serbian Armed Forces General Staff, representatives of religious communities, the military diplomatic corps, research and health institutions, members of the Military Academy, and numerous guests.

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