Start of the 17th Balkan Military Medical Committee Congress

30. 05. 2012

Minister of Defence Dragan Šutanovac opened yesterday at the "Continental" hotel, the 17th Congress of Balkan Military Medical Committee (BMMC) scheduled to present about 250 papers, sharing all the latest achievements in the field of modern medicine.
Wishing a warm welcome to the attendees, minister Šutanovac stressed the importance of the BMMC initiative for the future of the region. 
- This conference gathers all the greatest military experts of various specialties of medicine, who on this occasion exchange knowledge and experiences and learn from each other, which represents the highest significance of the Balkan Committee and this Congress, said the Defence minister. He added that the importance of the cooperation process in the region on the road to European integration is beyond doubt EU membership and the creation of the modern European states, along with mutual forces.
The minister emphasized that the military medical experts became known during the unfortunately 1990s which made them into world leading expert military doctors, nurses and medical technicians, who have demonstrated their knowledge and skills in peacekeeping missions around the world.

- This is our advantage, our particularity, and by continuing to learn and improve the common practice, it seems to me that we can really impose to the world as a region and a state whose military medical expertise can be placed at the disposal of the largest armies in the world to learn from it.
The Minister Šutanovac reminded the guests that the reform of defense system also included a comprehensive reform of the military health care system, contributing in that way to optimal use of available capacities, knowledge and military medicine expertise.

- Our military doctors are recognized experts in the country and the world enjoying the confidence of citizens and experts - said Šutanovac pointing out that the participation in peacekeeping missions around the world represents their full contribution. He particularly stressed the participation of military medicine students, who will be given a chance to expand their knowledge and friendship at this event.

BMMC President Colonel Đoko Maksić said that the promotion of the Committee in past few years has contributed to its importance, as well as to the development of military medicine relations, and straightening traditionally friendly relations between Balkan countries.

The chairman of the BMMC Congress and the Head of the Military Health Department Colonel Zoran Popović presented the event as a political reality and an inseparable part of European integration process. He also believes that the reputation of BMMC represents the result of its long tradition and war experiences in this region which, according to him, had large importance for the Serbian medical teams - participants in EU and UN peacekeeping missions.

He informed that the conference of the Chiefs of military medical services in the region and the Chiefs of Military Medical Academies, are taking place at the same time. The topic will be forming a "Balkan medical task forces," the exchange and training capacity in the region, as well as the exchange of telemedicine-related information.

Speaking about the significance of today's meeting, the Head of the Military Medical Academy Brigadier General Prof. Dr. Marijan Novaković pointed out the need for the existence of "joint forces" to act promptly in case of disasters, accidents and natural disasters.

The participants were welcomed by the chairman of the Chief of the Military Medical Services Committee of NATO and partner countries General Rob van der Mer (Netherlands), Colonel Evgeni Belokonski Iliev (Bulgaria), Admiral Apostolos Mantidis (Greece), Brigadier General Mihai Marius Muresan (Romania) and Major General Sadetin Cetiner (Turkey).

Lecturers of BMMC Congress, held for the first time in our country during three days, will deliver the presentations in the field of vascular diseases in internal medicine, surgery and neurology, war trauma, medical aspects of exposure to extreme environmental factors, as well as modern scientific and technological aspects of CRBD protection and treatment of the injured and diseased patients.

The Congress gathers 200 participants coming from five countries. They attended last evening the reception hosted by the Head of the Military Health Department Colonel Zoran Popović.
In 1995, the Balkan Military Medical Committee was founded by Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Turkey. Membership was later extended to Albania and our country. Serbia, first as a candidate country and its associate member became a full member of this regional initiative.

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