Civic condemnation of the Ministry of health statement

Group of bellow signed individuals and civil society organisations strongly condemned the statement of Ministry of Health of Montenegro “Health care of Montenegro provides adequate health protection to all citizens”, publicized on the website of this body on 26/01/2017.

Namely, the statement states that Ministry of Health “once again appeals to citizens to resolve their health related issues solely through regular medical procedures, because in that manner, they receive a timely and quality health service, provided that there are medical indications. We remind once more that Montenegrin citizens who are insured, regardless of their life age, can obtain the necessary medical services in Montenegro or elsewhere, at the expense of the state, through regular professional medical procedures, in line with the Law on healthcare and Law on life insurance, based on the legally prescribed procedures. While fully understanding the need of families in their search of some solution to help a sick member of their family in such dire situations, we remind them hereby that their health related problems may be solved by using the legally defined medical procedures.”

Such statement of Ministry of Health came as a response and reaction to then actual humanitarian action for the treatment of three-year old girl Selena Mandić and obviously represents the only form of “support” of our system in this specific case and numerous other cases where the system has utterly failed, and citizens took over its role.

In addition to its inertness, and complete lack of any form of acting aimed to save and prolong the life, with adequate medical treatment and medication, Ministry of Health is so concerned about the condition of tax payers, thanks to whom its employees and administration receive the salaries for their in/activity and in/action, that it tried to dissuade and prevent them that perhaps their € 1 can be crucial, while trying to blame the parents.

We point out that such statement is shameful, and also dangerous, given that it belittles the efforts that are being made, and directly calls the citizens not to help the parents’ fight for their child, even though it is clear that our health institutions are not able to provide the adequate support they needed: neither professional or financial, and possibly not even the humane one.

Each and every individual and family who had someone who suffered or died from cancer or other illness, perfectly knows the extent of medical and psychological help and support he/she may have received from the system, apart from the few dedicated medical workers. Considering that this action was not the first of its kind, it begs the question as to why such reaction of Ministry of Health came in this moment and in this specific case. Proud of our citizens, who recognised the need of family Mandić-Ramusović, who still cherish the values of solidarity and volunteerism, we cannot help but notice that the scope of their humanity, as well as the gravity of Selena’s situation, may seem unscrupulous to Ministry of Health, as shown in the above statement.

Aware of the fact that, in addition to such cynical statement, Ministry of Health, as well as many other institutions, are perfectly fine with citizens resolving such issues of life importance, which is the primary responsibility of state, we remind that we will continue to monitor this society which reminds the state of its obligations. The questions is: if the health system is so effective, why is it that majority of decision-makers, officials and other wealthy individuals do not use its services, while on the other hand not a small number of citizens, children, youth and adults are treated with donations?! We state that it is dangerous for health care system of Montenegro to ignore the issues it faces, especially those related to timeliness and quality of health care, because they thus will not solve, but only convey a bad message to citizens.

In line with the aforementioned, we call the Ministry of Health to:
– inform the public on the author and order of this statement considering that it wasn’t signed and to explain the intentions of the same;
– publically apologise to family Mandić-Ramusović, and refrain in future from such (lack of) care for citizens;
– restore the confidence in the work of health care system and propose and introduce the option of rapid response in such and other urgent cases that may arise.

Group of individuals and NGO:
Aleksandra Gligorović
Aleksandra Zeković
Ana Rašović
Anđela Minić
Anka Vukićević
Bojana Laković
Bojana Mišković
Damira Kalač
Danijel Garić
Danijela Bošković
Dijana Tomanović Peković
Dragan Pelević
Irfan Murić
Itana Prljević
Ivana Bogojević
Jasna Gajević
Jelena Đurković
Milena Ćeranić
Milinka Đorović
Mirjana Marković
Mirsad Fejzić
Neda Bogavac
Nikola Dragićević
Nikolina Joksimović – Parađina
Radoje Mijušković
Samir Guberinić
Sandra Šoškić
Sava Kovačević
Svetlana Radović
Radoš Mušović
Tanja Fatić
Tijana Bukilić
Vladislav Dajković
Zdravko Cimbaljević

Association for democratic prosperity – ZID
Food bank of Montenegro
Bona Fide Pljevlja
Centre for Civic Education – CCE
Centre for multimedia production – CEZAM
Centre for education and training
Centre for Development of young people
Centre for Development of NGOs – CRNVO
Women’s Rights Centre
Centre for Women and Peace Education – ANIMA
Montenegrin HIV Foundation
Montenegrin Women Lobby
Ecological Movement OZON
Foundation “HELP – Action for North of Montenegro ”
4 Life
Civic Alliance
Holistic Centre Harmonija
LGBT Forum Progres
NU Zdrava Dona Montenegrina
NGO European standards
NGO Our Action
NGO Our Sun
NGO Pandora Herceg Novi
NGO Prima
NGO First association of parents of children with special needs
NGO Staze
NGO Protector of rights of prisoners
SOS Hotline for women and children victims of violence Podgorica
Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro
Association of paraplegics Cetinje
Association of paraplegics Podgorica
Association of parents of children with difficulties in development Podgorica
Parents’ Association
Association for support to persons with disabilities Bijelo Polje
Association for help to persons with mental and physical disabilities Nikšić
Association for development of civil society Bijelo Polje
Women Action Nikšić