06 Jun 2024

TRH Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine officially opened today the 14th Serbian Diaspora Medical Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belgrade, Serbia. Their Royal Highnesses are the patrons of this significant gathering which once again brought together almost 2,000 doctors to exchange knowledge and experience, with the participation of eminent lecturers from Serbia and abroad, members of the Serbian diaspora but also distinguished foreign participants.

Starting from the fact that medicine is a science in which new achievements are made almost every day, where the exchange of knowledge and experiences in every field of health care is of greatest importance, this traditional Conference is following the vision of Her Royal Highness to enable doctors from Serbia and all parts of the planet to create and improve professional relationships and share their knowledge with colleagues around the world. Bringing together doctors and experts in the various fields of medical science enables constant improvement of the cooperation, expertise and professional work of health experts in Serbia and the Republic of Srpska, and thus the entire health systems of our country.

The Conference was formally opened by the addresses of Their Royal Highnesses, who greeted the partners, sponsors, and participants, and thanked them for their great help and support for this gathering of medical professionals. In his speech, HRH Crown Prince Alexander emphasized that this Conference represents the continuation of the Royal family’s tradition of helping and supporting hospitals and doctors, as it was something that all his ancestors did, as their important duty towards the people.

The Opening Ceremony was also addressed by the State Secretary in the Ministry of Health of Serbia, Prof. Dr. Ferenc Vicko, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Belgrade, Prof. Dr. Lazar Davidović, Director of the Office of the World Health Organization in Belgrade, Dr. Fabio Scano, representative of the Serbian Medical Chamber, Dr. Danilo Jeremić, representative of the Royal Serbian Medical Association, Prof. Dr. Arsen Ristic, member of the organizing committee of the Conference and the Director of Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Prof. Dr. Vesna Garović, and member of the Royal Medical Board, Prof. Dr. Alexander Simić.

As part of the opening program, all present were also reminded of the long tradition of Serbian medicine, with roots going back to more than 800 years ago, but also the tradition of the Royal family in supporting the health system. In his presentation, Professor Simić reminded that at the time of the accession of King Peter the First to the throne of Serbia, there was one hospital in Belgrade, and showed all the ones that were built and opened after that, thanks to Karađorđevićs, most of which still serve for the benefit of our people.

Expressing his gratitude for many years of successful cooperation, Professor Vicko emphasized the determination of the Ministry of health to continue creating legal frameworks, as well as further investments into Clinical Centres and hospitals, so that the health care system of Serbia continues to progress further. In his greeting letter for all participants, HE Dr. Zlatibor Lončar, the Minister of Health of Serbia, stated that he is deeply convinced that our doctors working in other countries can make a significant contribution to the development of medical science in Serbia by transferring their experiences and sharing knowledge with our doctors, but also that our medical professionals have much to show their colleagues from abroad because with their knowledge, professional achievements and contribution to the healthcare system of Serbia, they can be a good example to every doctor from the most developed countries. The Minister concluded that meetings of doctors, such as the Conference of the Serbian Medical Diaspora, represent a significant impetus to the improvement of the quality of health services in our country, which is the common goal of all health workers and all of us.

In addition to the lectures, Their Royal Highnesses are hosting a formal reception and a dinner for organizers and lecturers at the White Palace tonight. Also, on the second day of the Conference, 25 students from 5 Medical Faculties (Universities in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Nis, and Pristina) will present their work, as part of a separate session. The expert commission will name the best 3 students, and they will receive appropriate awards.

“Fourteen years ago, I had a wish and a dream. I knew that our diaspora had a great desire to help our country, the same as they have today. I also knew very well how many esteemed experts our people had abroad, but also how great potential and knowledge our doctors in Serbia have, and I wanted to show it to the world as well. It was my desire to help our doctors, to support them connect with their colleagues around the world, to exchange their knowledge, but also to create friendships. And I had a dream, a vision of how to make it happen, by bringing our diaspora to Serbia. Now, as this dream has come true, when I see how this Conference has grown and progressed, how it has more and more lecturers and participants each year, my heart is filled with joy and pride.

Serbia has a respectable tradition in medical science, we have very good and qualified doctors. With the work at this conference, we are making our contribution to keeping that tradition at the highest level. We will continue creating these bridges of knowledge and friendship, so valuable medicinal experiences continue being exchanged between the diaspora and Serbia. It is very important that doctors have this opportunity to exchange ideas in their fields of expertise. I hope that you will be able to further share the gained experience with your colleagues and help your patients, but also, all citizens of your countries.”, said HRH Crown Princess Katherine on this occasion.

The Serbian Diaspora Medical Conference is held under the patronage of TRH Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine, organized by the Royal Serbian Medical Association and HRH Crown Princess Katherine Foundation, with the support of the Ministry of Health, the Medical Faculty of the University of Belgrade, the Serbian Medical Chamber, the World Health Organization, and the Royal Medical Board.

This year’s Conference was organized with the great support of the companies: Ergomed, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Hemofarm, MSD, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Salveo, Acibadem Belmedic, Acibadem Hospital, Alkaloid, Galenika, Amicus Therapeutics, and Inpharm.

The next Serbian Diaspora Medical Conference will be held from 12 to 14 June 2025.