12 Dec 14
Montenegro Health Chiefs Grilled Over Infections
Montenegro’s parliament told health officials to do more to restore shaken trust in the public health stystem after a deadly virus claimed an infant’s life in a hospital in the north.
Montenegro’s Parliamentary Health Committee held a hearing of top health officials on Friday about infections in a maternity ward that claimed the life of a new-born baby.
Lawmakers questioned health officials to determine their responsibility and the circumstances under which the infection occured and has been treated in the hospital in the northern town of Bijelo Polje.
In November, five babies become infected with a deadly virus, one of which died two weeks ago. Doctors confirmed that the babies had sepsis and meningitis caused by an infection.
Health ministry officials claimed that despite the infection, maternity wards in Montenegro are safe.
However, the director of the Institute of Public Health of Montenegro, Boban Mugosa, admitted that the some healthcare regulation were not met in Bijelo Polje.
“Healthcare facilities are required to provide hygienic conditions to prevent hospital infections. We need to suppress the infection within the hospital in Bijelo Polje, as well as to form a commission to monitor the situation,” Mugosa said.
Health Minister Miodrag Radunovic was not questioned in parliament because he resigned after the infection was revealed.
Several dozen people staged a protest in the capital, Podgorica, demanding the resignation of the Health Minister over the death, highlighting the poor state of maternity wards in the country generally.
After the affair erupted, the management of the maternity ward in Bijelo Polje was sacked and the director of the hospital, Tomislav Jeremic, resigned, on “moral grounds”.
The state prosecution said it had opened an investigation to determine responsibility for the infections in the maternity ward.
A UNICEF report on the state of the Montenegrin maternity wards, released in 2013, said the quality of care for mothers, newborns and children in Montenegro was often substandard, especially when it came to information, communication, confidentiality and holistic care for mothers and children.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)