Yugoslav Sociological Association
May 28, 1999


In this text it is our intention to expose some crucial problems that
the Yugoslav health care services encounter nowadays after the two-month
bombing of our country. The entire population of Yugoslavia and
particularly its most vulnerable part suffer very much for the following

1. About 400 health care buildings have been destroyed or damaged (the
so called "collateral damage") so far, thus almost a third of the
population has no access to the local health dispensaries;

2. Destruction of over 50 bridges (some of which were just beautiful
urban oases for strolling, without any motor traffic) and pedantic
destruction of the main (as well as local) roads prevent transportation
of severe and acute patients to more competent institutions;

3. Due to the destruction of the electricity network of Serbia over 80%
of our health care institutions are unable to utilize electric power
(!), and only those that have independent supply (generators) may, at
least from time to time, provide survival to those on respirators, in
incubators, necessitating surgery, etc. Others are doomed to suffer and
die in pain, infection, their own excrement and blood. The same
conditions await 120,000 pregnant women who are due to give birth soon.

4. Out of 1,500 killed civilians about 30% are children, while the ratio
is even worse in 6,000 wounded: about 40% are children. Now, at any
time, due to round the clock air raids over Yugoslavia, at least 5-6
million people are curled up in shelters left to their unreliable
protection. This brings about reach variety of psychiatric nosology that
remains to be manifested in the future among children and their parents;
engrams caused by such horrible conditions are the issue of which we
hardly dare to think;

5. The simplicity of the sign and symbol of the red cross was an easily
recognizable taboo marking a tiny, but still achievable measure of
humanity that has never been questioned and never open to doubt. In
spite of that, in this aggression of NATO forces the taboo has been
broken several times. E.g., on 20 May 1999, at 00:55 a grenade hit
directly a building of the Center of Neurology within a noticeably
marked and detached medical civilian complex of the "Dr Dragisa Misovic"
University Medical Center, damaging the Pediatric Center for Lung
Disorders and Maternity Ward, where four deliveries, two of them
Cesarean sections, were in progress at the time. In addition to others
the following patients were murdered: Radosav Novakovic, suffering from
motor neuron disease, Branka Boskovic, with left-sided paralysis
resulting from stroke, and Zora Brkic, with multiple cerebral
infections. Can you imagine the moment of terror of the three bed-ridden
patients chained in the cage of their own unresponsive bodies and the
surrounding explosions? As we already put it, this was not an
exceptional "collateral damage".

6. What, however, inflicts a sharper pain is the silence of a part of
the civilized world. Or, maybe, that part of the world knows something
that still eludes us: that there is something very dangerous and
subversive in our hospitals?!? That the WHO motto "Health for all" has,
in fact, a hidden meaning of which we are not aware jet, namely, that it
should be understood as: "Health for politically correct only"?

For the sake of humanity we appeal that you raise your voice against the
cynical practice of preventing a humanitarian catastrophe by producing
another one; for the appalling consequences of such a circle might
easily become entirely unpredictable. Who is the next?

Presidency of the Yugoslav Sociological Association
Yugoslav Sociological Association
Studentski trg 1,
11000 Belgrade,
Phone: ++381 11 637 115

Back to texts' page
Back to index page

This page has been visited times.