Request to the Minister of Health of the Republic of Serbia sign now

Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia
To Minister, Professor Dr Tomica Milosavljević

Minister Milosavljević, with respect

We wish to respond to the deposing of Dr. Milan Stanojkovic, who was until very recently the Director of the Special Psychiatric Hospital Gornja Toponica and the Center for Community Mental Health Medijana in Nis.

We consider this issue to be of tremendous importance to the colleagues in professional, scientific and advocacy circles. The institution managed by Dr. Stanojkovic engaged in meticulous reforms and have been turned into exemplary institution during his management. Clearly the hospital and the community mental health center are examples of good practice in the region, which has been confirmed by statements from several experts from the Project for Mental Health supported by the Stability Pact, as well as others.

We are reminding you that the reasons for deposing Dr. Stanojkovic are contrary and show a disregard for doctrinal procedure. The reasons dont refer to his professional engagement or on the functioning of the institutions managed under his care. Through an unbalanced media campaign and in the court of public opinion formed by that campaign, and while he was absent on a business trip, Dr. Stanojkovic was presented as an abusive monster. Only after he was deposed were these allegations exposed as unfounded and a thinly veiled attempt at character assassination. Prior to his deposing Dr. Stanojkovic was not offered a chance to defend himself and expose these allegations as unfounded and slanderous. These events have damaged his professional and personal integrity and honor. This event has greatly compromised mental health reforms in Serbia. After an example like this, who would dare to introduce reforms in the psychiatric hospitals of Serbia or in public health care institutions?!

Due to these facts, we, who have signed below, are suggesting you form a Professional Commission as soon as possible which will establish the real situation in Gornja Topaonica and Medijana. The Professional Commission should be independent and should include international experts who should be able to give recommendations for further promotion of care for patients in such institutions.

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Marcia LoveBy:
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Minister of Health of the Republic of Serbia

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