Another batch of medical equipment donated by the European Union, consisting of ten portable digital X-ray devices, was delivered to Montenegro. Modern X-ray equipment will enable more precise and faster radiographic diagnostics in hospitals in Bar, Niksic, Berane, Pljevlja, Bijelo Polje, as well as in the Clinical Centre of Montenegro – at the Clinic for Infectious Diseases, Neurology Clinic, Institute for Children’s Diseases, Central Intensive Care and the Metabolic Intensive Care Unit. This equipment will ensure long-term improvement of hospital capacities in Montenegro, but also more efficient preparation for a possible second wave of the coronavirus epidemic. The donation, worth 286,855.00 euros, is part of the European Union’s project for emergency support to Montenegro in the fight against Covid-19, worth a total of 3 million euros, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Montenegro.

On the occasion of the equipment handover, head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, ambassador Aivo Orav said: “The EU, EU member states and our citizens have stood side by side Montenegro from the beginning of the epidemic, providing both immediate support to health workers as well as longer-term support to help the health system, economy, businesses and vulnerable citizens affected by the situation. We are all grateful to Montenegrin authorities for handling the crisis in a responsible and effective way, but as expected, the virus is back and we must be more vigilant than ever. I believe that these 10 mobile x-ray machines are a valuable donation, which can help the national health system to be even better prepared for the second wave of the virus. Even once the pandemic is over, the x-ray machines are here to stay for the benefit of Montenegrin citizens. The national health system needs modernisation and long-term investment, which is why the EU is intending to fund the construction of two new clinics for infectious diseases and dermatovenerology within the Clinical Centre of Montenegro.”

Deputy Prime Minister, Milutin Simović thanked the Delegation of the European Union and the UNDP in Montenegro for continued procurement of medical and personal protective equipment, from EU funds allocated to support Montenegro in the fight against Covid-19. “The continued implementation of this project is another confirmation of solidarity and the EU-Montenegro partnership in addressing health challenges during the new coronavirus pandemic. By jointly strengthening the capacity of the health system, we will be even more ready to respond to possible new waves of the epidemic and life with the virus, and thus ensure that additional attention is focused on strong economic recovery and further strengthening of Montenegro’s reputation as a safe and secure country for all its citizens, tourists, business people and investors,” said Deputy Prime Minister Simović.

Daniela Gašparikova, UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro noted that UNDP strives to be a reliable partner to the citizens, government and the international community, as evidenced by the concrete support that this organisation provides in response to the epidemic, but also in the upcoming recovery process. “Modern X-ray equipment, which we provided thanks to EU funds, is only a part of our continuous support to Montenegro. In order to protect gains in human development and well-being, UNDP pays special attention to the strengthening of the health system in the long run. Given that the health of the population is a basic precondition for improving the quality of life, we will continue investing efforts in introduction of digital technologies that lead to improved processes and information flows within the health system, specifically in the Clinical Centre of Montenegro. I believe this will ensure provision of better-quality health care for patients,” Gašparikova concluded.

In April, the EU Delegation to Montenegro and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Montenegro signed a contract worth €3 million euros to deliver necessary medical and protective equipment for health workers. The contract is funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP, in close cooperation with relevant national institutions. Apart from the mentioned 10 X-ray devices, this donation enabled procurement of: 100 medical ventilators and a consignment of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, including: 171,550 surgical masks, 32,800 N95 respirators, 90,000 surgical gloves, 10,000 protective overshoes, 10,000 surgical caps, 10,200 goggles, 10,000 waterproof gowns and 10,000 aprons. The overall EU aid package supporting Montenegro in the fight against Covid-19 as well as fostering long-term recovery of the health sector, the economy and social sector amounts to 53 million euros.