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Musculoskeletal Trauma Services in Serbia

Abstract

Serbia, a middle-income country, is located in southeastern Europe, with territory of 88,361 km2 and 9,400,000 inhabitants. Average month salary is US$542 and the registered unemployment rate is 22%. The country is administratively divided into 30 districts (193 municipalities). The healthcare system is territorially organized. In the state capital there are five clinical hospitals with musculoskeletal traumatology departments, as well as one in each of the four university centers. In addition, there are orthopaedic departments in 40 smaller hospitals throughout the country and in three military hospitals, along with several pediatric surgical departments involved in managing musculoskeletal trauma. There are 524 orthopaedic trauma surgeons (1:18,000 people), with a minor number of additionally trained general and pediatric surgeons who care for musculoskeletal problems. Bonesetters are neither recognized nor included in the healthcare system. Orthopaedic traumatology services are well organized, with variable accessibility depending on the distance between injury site and nearest medical facility. Preventive strategies are well developed and mainly consider agricultural, industrial, and traffic injuries. Distribution of medical institutions is satisfactory. Future activities should include continuing medical education of specialists, exclusion of inappropriate specialists, improvement of preventive strategies and medical transport facilities, as well as standardization of medical equipment, diagnostics, and treatment protocols.

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