The Slovenia Times

Medical staff from all over the country to help deal with refugees


Health Ministry State Secretary Sandra Tušar said she would push for realisation of the agreement.

Currently health services are provided by the regional health centres and volunteer doctors from Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and Slovenia, but now medical staff from the entire country is to get involved in the efforts to provide round-the-clock medical care, Tušar told the STA.

A special coordination task force will also be set up to make sure that the work runs smoothly. The group, to be appointed by the ministry, should formally become operative on Wednesday but on the operative level its work has already begun.

Today's meeting in Brežice featured the representatives of all health centres from the wider region, including Posavje, Novo mesto, Črnomelj, Metlika, Kočevje, Ivanča Gorica, Celje, Šmarje pri Jelšah and Šentjur pri Celju.

The representatives of the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Brežice general hospital were also present.

Director of the Brežice Community Health Centre Miroslav Laktić said migrants were being attended at the Brežice police station, and the near-by villages of Dobova and Rigonce.

All medical staff and volunteers are exhausted, so they need backup, he said, labelling today's meeting a big step forward.

Mojca Pibernik, the head of the emergency services at the Brežice health centre, said some 450 refugees had been treated so far, up to 45 a day, meaning they had a patient every half an hour.

There are 15 medical workers operative at the refugee centres on a daily basis, with four or five ambulances.

Hungary's Caritas is also helping out. A team of eight medical workers, including two doctors, have been active round-the-clock in Dobova since Friday.

The charity set up a heated medical tent with 100 beds in Dobova today for treating mostly women and children.

Volunteers from Slovakia are also helping in as are the Slovenian emergency teams from Ljubljana and Celje.

Additional assistance will also be provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which will help coordinate international aid groups and try to secure additional interpreters.

This was agreed at a meeting that Health Minister Milojka Kolar Celarc held with two special WHO envoys, who also endorsed the proposal that the organisation provide 20 vehicles equipped to provide emergency aid, the Health Ministry said.

The envoys will be in Slovenia several days. They plan to visit reception and accommodation centres for refugees around the country, and meet representatives NGOs including the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR).


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