Institute for Students Health of Belgrade University
95 years since the beginning of organized health care for students in Serbia
The Institute for Students Health of Belgrade University is one of the oldest medical institutions in Belgrade. The beginnings of the first organized health care for students date back to 1922/23 school year when, according to written documents of the time, students suffered from diseases such as anemia, tuberculosis and malaria. Two doctors were in charge of taking care of 6000 students of the then University of Belgrade.
Today, over 170 medical staff and other employees of the Institute for Students Health of Belgrade University take care of 120,000 students.
In our Institute students receive health care at primary and secondary level, we perform about 200,000 medical examinations annually and provide over 600,000 preventive and diagnostic services. Every year more than 20,000 first and third year students of Belgrade University have their medical checkups done in this institution, as well as 12,000 students who are moving into dorms.
At the primary health care level the services are provided within several departments: general medicine, gynaecology, dentistry, public health improvement and centre for AIDS and STD prevention, nutrition counselling, and the department of HE control of accommodation and food quality at schools and dormitories in Serbia.
Specialist consulting services with the department of ophthalmology, dermatovenerology, ENT, physiatry, and mental health counseling are examples of professional and well-organized health services for young people.
Throughout the Institute free wi-fi is provided, and in the waiting rooms there are billboards with various health and educational video material presented.
Administration and IT services provide support to the departments of the Institute, while our website, Facebook and Twitter accounts present new content daily, as they follow modern ways of communication with young users.
The Institute’s Infirmary provides high-quality secondary health care services and stands as a modern and comfortable hospital. There are several wards in the Infirmary: general care with 22 beds, surgery ward with two modern operating rooms, internal medicine and diagnostic services with a laboratory and ultrasound cabinet.
As a part of the Institute there is a modern well-equipped health centre in the dormitory Studentski Grad and an outpost in Karaburma.
At the primary health care (general medicine and gynaecology) all the necessary technical and organizational conditions are created: there are no counters and there is always a nurse, therefore direct and immediate communication with a chosen doctor is enabled, which exemplifies the work practice that is friendly towards young people (Youth Friendly Service).
With a large number of well-designed prevention programs, especially the AIDS and STD Prevention Centre which is one of the biggest and best oraganized institutions for voluntary confidential HIV counseling and testing, with the largest number of testing (VCT) in the country, the Institute has become an example of best practice not only in Belgrade and Serbia but in the region and beyond. This has been confirmed over the past few years by numerous publications written by many international organizations (UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO, IPPF, Global Fund):
As a result, during the past few years the Institute has realized number of projects and programs cooperating with many foreign partners and local NGOs. The emphasis should be put on several youth health improvement programs which were implemented with UNICEF and UNFPA, then programs for prevention of HIV/AIDS and the development of Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) centres developed as a model all over Serbia, in the region, as well as in other countries of central and Eastern Europe and Asia.
The institute gained a very good reputation while taking part in developing and promoting the health education program in schools in Serbia. We were both participants and promoters of a pilot program to introduce health education in schools in Serbia, working alongside with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and UNICEF.
The employees of our institution initiated and implemented activities of the Expert Group on Youth Development and Health of the Ministry of Health of Serbia, making invaluable contribution to the adoption of the National Strategy for Youth Development and Health and its immediate implementation.
Over the years the Institute has carried out various research related to health behavior and risks to health of young people in Serbia, students in particular, through the largest research done so far in Serbia about the health behavior of young people.
Our doctors are involved in teaching at the Medical Faculty in Belgrade, teaching undergraduate students, specializing doctors or at postgraduate studies.
The Institute organizes large number of conferences, the most important being the last year’s First Regional Congress on Youth Health, which brought together over 250 doctor presenters, on which ocassion some important findings were adopted in order to improve young people’s health.
The Institute operates very successfully and stands as an example of how a good management can be financially successful despite the very limited resources in the health care.
The reputation and respect for our institution, both at home and abroad, has been earned with great effort and work of all the employees at the Institute for Students Health of Belgrade University, on whose behalf we thank you for your presence.
Dr Marija Obradović