Is there enough Epidemiologists in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

The time of the pandemic, which the whole world has been facing for more than half a year, has placed epidemiologists at the top of the most sought-after occupations. Neighboring Croatia came out with the information that they lack 159 epidemiologists and that due to the epidemiologically difficult autumn – which is expected, they will hire young doctors who will undergo some kind of fast training. There are not enough epidemiologists in Bosnia and Herzegovina either, BHRT reports.

The number of epidemiologists and teams of Hygienic and Epidemiological Services in relation to the number of inhabitants is less than needed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This was shown by the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, when the Hygienic and Epidemiological Services had to hire additional staff in order to respond to the new situation. Nevena Todorovic, director of the Banja Luka Health Center stated that the Hygienic and Epidemiological Service of Banja Luka usually employs 16 employees.

“However, at the time of the pandemic when there was a big jump in the sick we had more than 55 workers employed. So we transferred colleagues from other services to the Hygienic and Epidemiological Service. They are primarily doctors of medicine, specialists in family medicine. ”

According to the standards and norms at the level of secondary health care, one hygienic-epidemiological team is needed for about 70 thousand inhabitants.

At the primary, municipal level, one team per 40 thousand inhabitants and that number is not filled.

The culprit is neither epidemiologists nor the authorities, but insufficient interest in specialization in this medical field.

Aida PilavV, Director of the Public Health Institute of Canton Sarajevo stated that the canton currently has about 500 thousand inhabitants and seven epidemiologists.

“At the municipal level, each municipality in Sarajevo, with nine, should have one epidemiological team. We have not reached that standard. ”

In the coming period, according to the dean of the Medical Faculty in Banja Luka, the imperative should be to start the process of specializations and subspecializations in the field of epidemiology.

Ranko Skrbic, Dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Banja Luka stated that they already have the requirements of the Banja Luka Health Center and some other health centers where colleagues from family medicine, working with Covid patients for several months, realized that this is something that will be very good for their profession and that they should receive additional education in epidemiology.

Not only because of the situation with the new coronavirus, but also because of the future ones that can cause climate change in the environment, we can expect, experts believe, that hygienic and epidemiological services in the world will have to be make differently to respond to future public health threats.

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