The Celebration of the MMA’s Day

02. 03. 2012

 Today, the 168 years of existence of the Military Medical Academy was marked in the amphitheater of that medical institution. Present to the event were the Minister of Defence, Mr. Dragan Šutanovac, the MMA’s head, Brig. Gen. Prof. Dr. Marijan Novaković, the Minister of Health Dr Zoran Stanković, Deputy Chief of the AF General Staff, Maj. Gen. Milan Bjelica, the rector of the Defence University, Lt.Gen. Prof. Dr. Miodrag Jevtić, the head of the Military Academy,  Maj.Gen. Mladen Vuruna, representatives of the Ministry of Defence, the Armed Forces, religious organization, public and cultural life, and numerous guests as well. 

The Military Medical Academy, its results achieved in the previous year as well as the plans for the future were the issues addressed by the MMA’s head General Novaković. He reiterated that that higher educational institution is the largest hospital in both Serbia and the region, renowned worldwide for its work, that it is the synonym of the tradition and trust as well as the brand that promotes our country in the best possible way. 

‘After more than a year, since I have assumed this position, I can tell you that I am satisfied with the achieved results.  Some progress was made in almost every sphere of the MMA’s work, i.e. the three main poles – treatment, education and scientific research. As far as the treatment is concerned, quantitative steps forward were made in terms of the number of treated and cured patients, and qualitative advancements through the application of new diagnostic procedures,  particularly in the field of radiology. In the therapeutic sense as well, there are some significant novelties regarding the introduction of the latest protocols in the treatment of malignant diseases in any of its segments. We got the  Ministry of Defence  consent to operate as a referral oncology center, meaning that we would be able not only to diagnose a malignant  disease but to treat it  using an adequate therapy’, General Novaković said.
He also emphasized that the greatest novelty in the education sphere was accreditation of the MMA’s Medical School, as a part of the Defence University, which had admitted three classes of cadets so far. At the middle of this year, the Military Medical Academy would host the Balkan Military Medical Committee Congress, and was offered to organize the European Military Medical Congress in 2014.
‘We continue with the same tempo upon our plan to procure new equipment, introduce advanced treatment methods, advance medical profession and personnel, intensify international cooperation, fight corruption and create conditions for further improvement of the financial status  of our employees with the aim of raising quality of health care for our patients, both military and civilian insured. The MMA is here for its patients’, the head of that institution pointed out and added that some additional efforts would be  directed towards the improvement of medical staff-patient relations, and that  both the technique and expensive apparatuses are meaningless  if the human factor fails.

Congratulating the current and former employees of the Military Medical Academy on the Day of that institution and the 168 years of its existence, the Defence Minister, Mr. Dragan Šutanovac emphasized that the said Ministry could characterize its last four years of its work as the years of reforms, of which the reform in the sphere of military health was, in his opinion,  the most important.

‘The complete professionalism of the Serbian Armed Forces, the establishment of the Defence University, Military Medical School along with the pension and health care reform are the reforms that directly relate to the Military Health Service and the Military Medical Academy’, Minister Šutanovac said and pointed out that, over those four years, the MMA’s renovation went into two directions, one concerning the strengthening of human resources, and the other one regarding technological-technical renewal and modernization,  in what, in his words, an estimated 900 million dinars, i.e. 9 million euros were invested.

‘’The money was invested in the procurement of new apparatuses such as a liner accelerator, a multislice CT scanner, angiography units and a large number of other medical  apparatuses. Today, there are 32 000 devices, of which 95% are in proper order’, Mr. Šutanovac said and reminded that some years ago there were some polemics in the public about the MMA existence, and its operation within the framework of the Ministry of Defence  as its integral part, and that in 2008, it was functionally integrated into the National Health Care System.

‘’Today, all our citizens can get treatment at the MMA through an adequate referral. During that period, some 90 000 civilian patients were hospitally treated, and more than 100 000 surgical procedures were performed. In January, our hospitals in Niš and Novi Sad opened their doors to civilian patient population as well, offering them medical services and assistance, what considerably contributed to the general public health in the Republic. In 2008, we promised to do our best to make the MMA the best and fully equipped hospital in this part of Europe, and there are some data that prove that’, the Defence Minister said and added as a very important the fact that this institution has  all  5 certificates of the international quality standards and certificates and accreditation of laboratories for diagnosis in 5 fields.

This year would be the year when we would mark 4 years of the existence and 2 years of operation of the accredited MMA Medical School, and the enrollment of the 4th generation of the Military Academy and Military Medical Academy cadets is underway. The candidate response, in the Minister’s words, is  twice greater as compared with the last year response.

‘’Having accomplished the work on positioning the Military Medical Academy, we have created within the international cooperation framework a competitive offer,  offering competitive education and training for medical personnel. All the countries in the region, and not only in the region, for we have here cadets from Libya and Angola, and are expecting 15 Algerian military physicians to come to Serbia for advanced training purposes; however, there are some serious negotiations going on with  two African countries, with one about our engagement in establishing their military hospital and with the second one about sending our military experts there to work together with their Armed Forces personnel’, Mr.  Šutanovac said, recalling good cooperative relations with Norway, China, Czech Republic, the U.S.A. and Russia and other 14 countries.

In his opinion, the deployment of the MMA personnel to the peacekeeping missions, in the Congo and Chad in the first place, is of great importance. ‘’ Today, while we are celebrating  168 years of the existence of the Military Medical Academy we should also send compliments to the members of this institution and the Medical Services of the Republic of Serbia and its Armed Forces deployed to the peacekeeping mission in the Congo. The mission they are carrying out there is the mission that promotes the capacities of our Armed Forces and the country as well within the integration process we are committed to’, the Minister said and added that the active participation in peacekeeping operations and exercises as well as the international cooperation with military medical institutions had contributed to the advancement of political capacities of our country at the international level.

Speaking about the tasks carried out, the Minister reminded the present of what was the head of this institution and the Defence Ministry.

‘Our intention is to continue with technological renewal and modernization of the MMA, and in  that respect, complete renovation of the operating rooms and IC units is planned’, the Defence Minister said and emphasized as well the intention of purchasing a medical helicopter to enable the  mobile MMA’s medical teams to respond rapidly and adequately to emergencies on the whole territory of the Republic. He also said that the on-going reform of the pension and military health    insurance systems   would create conditions for more serious and adequate financing of the military health care system

‘Let me remind you that the Pension Fund owed 7,4 billion RSD to our Health Insurance Fund, and once that reform process has been completed, the Pension Fund reimburses, on monthly basis,   the treatment of military retirees insured through our military facilities’, the Minister Šutanovac said .

He has promised that, in the following period,  much more attention  would be focused  on  the scientific research at the MMA, so , this year, considerable financial resources would be devoted to applied  research projects that are of great importance to the Serbian Armed Forces.

‘’We want to send the most prospective junior physicians to the most prestigious medical institutions in the world for training purposes as we admit and train foreign officers and physicians here’ the Defence Minister said. He also underlined that a lot was done over the last four years to improve the financial status of the employees within the Defence System, but resolution of that   issue does not depend on the Ministry of Defence only. He particularly stressed that the work and the importance of the nursing personnel should be more valued and respected, and that they are eligible for adequate allowances, those that the service members receive for serving in the unit.

We are to adequately and comprehensively analyze the current and design a new organizational structure that would ensure more rapid and better provision of medical services within the framework of human resources planning.

There is a need within the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of Serbia as well as at the Military Medical Academy to initiate a new  restructuring process   to enable the use of human resources within the Defence System’,  Minister  Šutanovac said and reminded that those days, an open call would be announced for  the admission of new 97 MMA members. He also mentioned that that open call was the expression of the intention of the Ministry to bring the MMA closer to the level the citizens of Serbia expect it to be.

‘Nowadays, in Serbia, the region and greater part of the world, the MMA represents a bright example, and there is  not one foreign  minister who didn’t show the interest in establishing a cooperative relationship with this institution’, the Minister said, hoping that  there would be more opportunities in the future for presenting the capacities and knowledge of the MMA far beyond the borders of Serbia.

This year, 5   doctors of science have been promoter and   awarded diplomas by the MMA’s head, Brig. Gen. Prof. Dr. Marijan Novaković. They are Aleksandar Tomić, LtCol. Janko Pejović, Milena Miljković, Zoran Petrović and Miroslav Broćić. 

Every year, on this occasion, the best MMA’s organizational unit in the previous year is selected. The fact that this recognition is given by the colleagues gives a particular importance to it. In each of the last four years, that award went to the Clinic for Emergency Internal Clinic. During the ceremony, the head of the awarded Clinic, Col. Prof. dr. Branko Gligić was presented with the SAF memorial medal by the  Minister of Defence, Mr. Dragan Šutanovac, and  the plaque by the  MMA’s head, Brig. Gen. Prof. Dr. Marijan Novaković. 

The recipients of „Dr Vladan Đorđević“ medals awarded to the best surgeons in the country are the former head of the MMA’s Clinic for Plastic Surgery and Burns, retired Maj. Gen. Prof. Dr. Branislav Pantelić and the director of the Institute of Orthopedic-Surgical Diseases, Prof. Dr. Slobodan Slavković. He was awarded the medal by the head of the Group of Surgical Clinics, Col. Prof. Dr. Nebojša Jović, while the medal to Prof. Dr Branislavu Panteliću would be   awarded afterward.
The prize of the „Vojnosanitetski pregled“magazine awarded to the author of the year was established in 1995 with the aim of emphasizing the importance of publishing in scientific journals for broadening and advancement of medical profession and science.
This-year winner Prim. Dr. Zoran Stanojković from the Blood Transfusion Institute in Niš, published three his papers in that magazine over the last year. Dr. Stanojković is the second one from so called civilian institutions to be awarded such recognition. The head of the Military Health Department, Col. Prof. Dr. Zoran Popović presented him the award.
The Military Medical Academy is open to all Serbian andforeign citizens. It is about the institution operating within the framework of  the Republic of Serbia Defence System as an integral part of the Ministry of Defence and a strategic brand of our country and its Armed Forces on its path towards Euro-Atlantic integrations

The MMA marked this day to commemorate the 2nd of March, 1844, when the Princ Alexander Karadjordjević signed the Decree by which the ‘’ Act on establishing the Central Military Hospital’’ was proclaimed.
Today, on the occasion of the MMA’s Day, its Melanoma Center has organized   free preventive examinations of the skin for the early detection of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. During the day, over 300 people were scanned, so that campaign would be most probably organized once more in the near future.

Melanoma is a malignant tumor of the skin cells, and preventive protection is the best way to prevent its occurrence. In addition to avoiding unnecessary exposure to the sunlight, the MMA’s physicians recommend wearing sun-protective clothing, hats and sun glasses with the UV protection, application of sunscreen creams, a regular skin self-exam, and visits to a dermatologist as well as avoiding solarium exposure.

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