Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Minister Vulin: Members of the Serbian military medical service – the best people in the worst of times

Minister of defence Aleksandar Vulin, as envoy of the President of the Republic of Serbia and supreme commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, has attended tonight's ceremony marking the 180th anniversary of the Serbian Armed Forces medical service at the Guards Club in Topčider.
Extending greetings for the holiday, the minister of defence pointed out that when a person stands before a doctor, a medical technician and all members of the medical service, who know more about pain and the human body than anyone, one must feel humble, must be grateful and understand that he is equal to any other human being, aware of his mortality.

Referring to the importance of the medical service in our army and everything that its members did in the wars behind us, Minister Vulin recalled that 20 years had passed since the NATO aggression, when, in those times as well, they were with their people, when everything was the front line.
- It has been twenty years since you showed that even then you did not ask who the wounded was, but just what the wound was from. For twenty years we have been living in peace, licking our wounds and showing the world what we have learned about the horrors of war, and for 20 years we have been trying to strengthen ourselves, to stand up and to show the best we have learned from the worst of times. You were the best people in the worst of times – minister Vulin said.
Some say, he added, that it is for this reason that the worst times exist, to show what kind of people are born, and wise people say that great people grow up in small nations.
 - Our military medical service was in places where it was difficult, whenever it was difficult and always and one step ahead of the front line. No one should be abandoned, no one should be left behind, no one should die alone, no one should be without hope. Let us hope that the war times are behind us forever, but in the times we live in, we must be prepared to show in peace what we learned in the wars. Such is our destiny, and such is our country, that in the most difficult times we learn what we will need to save our lives. From infinite death you have learned to create and preserve lives, and we cannot be more proud of each and every one of you – minister Vulin said.
The minister of defence reminded that since the Slivnica battle, members of the medical service have shown that there is hope and that if one stands in front of a military doctor it means something more and that colleagues who work in civilian institutions with the same knowledge, love and commitment will understand it.
- You are military doctors in the first place, you are going where death is, one step ahead of the one who goes to the front line, you are going there so that no one be left, no one ever to be alone, no man to be left behind. That is why when you stand before us, ordinary citizens of our country, we give you our unreserved confidence, convinced and sure that where the army is, where a military doctor is, there must also be knowledge, order, goodness, humanity and hope – minister Vulin emphasised adding that today we remember those who gave their lives so that this country could decide for itself, speak our language and write in our own letter and those who saved lives without asking for the first and last name, as well as 180 years of history – persistent, unbreakable, stubborn struggle for hope.
Noting the importance of the jubilee, Brigadier General Uglješa Jovičić, PhD in Medicine, Head of the Military Health Department, pointed out that these 180 years mark the years of immense dedication of the individuals, generations of medics, but also the selfless help of friends and allies from many countries.
- Both good and bad experiences from the period behind us have influenced the development of our medical service while the biggest problems and the hardest moments where those that made the members of the military health care ready to react quickly and adequately in all situations – General Jovičić emphasised.
Loyalty, high ethics and humanity, he said, were and remained postulates of work of that service. Speaking about the next steps in the development of the medical service, General Jovičić pointed out that this service is celebrating this jubilee with new equipment and strengthened with personnel.
Noting that the trend of modernisation will continue, General Jovičić emphasised that, based on the Decision of the Minister of Defence, staff reinforcement will continue through manning with the largest number of medical workers, while preparations for the admission of 120 persons are underway.
- In addition to the aforementioned reconstruction of ‘surgical shock’ as a vein of the MMA, we plan to open a Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine at the MMA with the help of Chinese friends. The construction of an emergency block at the Niš Military Hospital is planned as well, and the beginning of the construction of the Military Gerontology Centre in Karaburma is nearing, which will significantly improve the health care of elderly military insurers – General Jovičić emphasised, adding that the introduction of new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures remains a permanent task.
On the occasion of the jubilee, a promotional film about 180 years of military health was presented at the ceremony as part of the production of Zastava Film Military Film Centre. The ceremony was preceded by an exhibition on the development of the medical service, which testifies through ten historical points to how the military service of our country used different ambulances in different epochs, symbolically marking the progress of efficient transportation and treatment of patients and the wounded. From the Balkan wars, World War I, which were marked by a Packard truck, the JNA medical service that used Pinzaguer vehicles, through modern ambulances, all the way to the Lazar 2 and Milos 3 ambulances for recovering the injured. Along with the ambulances, members of the medical service in uniforms and insignia from different epochs, the original parts and replicas of the medical equipment, as well as the panels with the most important information on the period of development of the ambulance service are exposed.
The day of the medical service is marked on 30th July 1839, when Dr Emerich Lindenmeyer was appointed as the first staff doctor and first head of our country's medical service.