PM Marković and Minister Hrapović open Centre for Autism, Developmental Disorders and Child Psychiatry “Ognjen Rakočević”

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    Prime Minister Duško Marković and Minister of Health Kenan Hrapović opened today the first specialized medical institution in Montenegro in Podgorica, which will deal with the problems of autism, barriers to child development and child psychiatry. The institution is named after the boy Ognjen Rakočević, who died in the spring of 2016 after he left his home… PM Marković and Minister Hrapović open Centre for Autism, Developmental Disorders and Child Psychiatry "Ognjen Rakočević"

    Prime Minister Duško Marković and Minister of Health Kenan Hrapović opened today the first specialized medical institution in Montenegro in Podgorica, which will deal with the problems of autism, barriers to child development and child psychiatry. The institution is named after the boy Ognjen Rakočević, who died in the spring of 2016 after he left his home.

    Instead of the previous practice of dealing with the problem of autism at several individual addresses of a lower organizational level, the tragic case of the boy Ognjen Rakočević, who united Montenegro and put its traditional solidarity in the foreground, further stimulated our intentions and the need to establish the Centre for Autism. This was accompanied by inter-agency cooperation and readiness of institutions to provide facilities and funds, and socially responsible individuals and associations to provide the necessary equipment and furniture. That is why the doors of this institution have been opened for children and parents who need expert assistance and support from this day, and I expect the results of the given obligations from its management and the Ministry of Health in the short term, Prime Minister Duško Marovic said at the opening of the Centre for Autism, Developmental Disabilities and Child Psychiatry “Ognjen Rakočević”.

    There will be no costs – as of today the Government and the Ministry of Health take care of these children

    The Prime Minister said that until now children with disorders from the spectrum of autistic diseases, who could not be provided with adequate medical care in Montenegro, were sent to health centres in the neighbourhood countries, which, regardless of the specific support of the Health Insurance Fund and the state budget, significantly burdened Montenegrin families.

    We send an encouraging message to the citizens of Montenegro, especially to parents, that starting tomorrow they can contact those who are here because of them and their children! And the State should be a wider family and a common home for our youngsters, while allowing their parents to rely on the institutions of the system. Therefore, as of today, all citizens need to know, there will be no need for additional payments for treating these diseases from the pockets of patients and their families! This is now the concern of the Government and the Ministry of Health, PM Marković said.

    The Prime Minister said that we do not want any child to lose a day of his childhood, seeking an adequate diagnostic, or health care institution.

    The blond boy united Montenegro

    Minister of Health Kenan Hrapović said that as of today, expert and true support and assistance for our youngest, and most important citizens, as well as their families in overcoming the challenges and developmental obstacles they face in early childhood, starts from this place.

    The Government of Montenegro and the Ministry of Health have carefully and responsibly measured each step on the way of forming this Centre, exclusively with respect to scientific achievements and facts. Our goal is clear – the problem that children with autism face will be dealt with in a systematic way. I am pleased to say that as of today the Center will conduct following activities: procedures of early diagnostics of autistic spectrum disorders and early intervention measures, as well as all other health support for autistic children regardless of age; diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of children with disabilities; diagnosis and treatment of children with mental health problems; physical therapy for children with disorders from autistic spectrum and developmental disorders; and diagnostics of neurological comorbidities with consultative examinations of neurologists, Minister Hrapović said.

    The Minister of Health said that a systematic approach to solving this problem will lead to the fact that all children with disorders from the autistic spectrum, children with psychomotor development disorders, have the opportunity to achieve the maximum of their own possibilities, which will significantly influence the reduction of the use of social services and benefit to their parents and the wider community.

    Dear friends, it was not long ago when a child’s life united us, when the Rakočević family, their friends, the police, the army, firefighters, rescuers, and thousands of human beings from almost all Montenegrin cities sought a blond autistic boy. The centre is called “Ognjen Rakočević”, Minister of Health Kenan Hrapović concluded.

    Many individuals, institutions and organisations helped in opening the Centre

    The premises of 410m² for the activities of the Centre and medical, didactic and other equipment in the value of EUR 64.000 have been given by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Employment Agency of Montenegro. When it comes to the equipping of the Centre, the donations included the contribution of the International Women’s Club by purchasing equipment and didactic materials worth EUR 10,000, the Ognjen Rakočević Foundation, the Embassy of Azerbaijan, the Čelebić Company and the Maintenance Service of Podgorica, the Minister said.

    He added that preparations for the opening of the Centre are currently under way. The Centre opened 15 new jobs. The part of the staff was taken from the Clinical Centre of Montenegro, and from now on, medical services will be provided by one physician, six physiotherapists and 17 defectologists, psychologists, social workers.
    The lack of pediatric psychiatrists will be solved by engaging colleagues from the neighbouring countries, until the return of three specialists from education. The Centre will be headed by clinical psychologist Nađa Ševaljević, Minister Hrapović said.

    He added that further human resources development plans will be more closely defined by the Strategy and Action Plan that are under preparation, which envisages that the activities of the existing Counseling Centres for Children will be extended in 2019 in the primary health care centres in Bijelo Polje, Bar and Nikšić.

    In the third year of implementation of the project, in 2020, the expansion of capacities of existing counseling centres in the primary health care centres in Berane, Herceg Novi and Pljevlja is planned, the Minister concluded.

    The opening was attended by Minister of Education Damir Šehović, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Kemal Purišić and Minister of Sports Nikola Janović, Mayor of Podgorica Slavoljub Stijepović, President of the Municipal Assembly of Podgorica Đorđe Suhih, Director of the Clinical Centre of Montenegro Zorica Kovačević, Director of Institute for Children’s Diseases Sonja Milašinović, Director of Primary Health Care Centre of Podgorica Neno Kavarić, Director of Health Insurance Fund Sead Čirgić, Director of Employment Agency Suljo Mustafić, representatives of the Ognjen Rakočević Foundation, non-governmental organisation Roditelji and representatives of the diplomatic corps, UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

    PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO

    Source: Government of Montenegro