First State-run Cardio Surgery Clinic Opened in Skopje

Leading heart surgeons from Switzerland, Italy, Serbia and Croatia attended the opening of the first state-run Cardio Surgery Clinic, opened on Wednesday as part of the Mother Teresa Clinic in Skopje.

"This has been the dream of many generations of Macedonian doctors and of our healthcare system in general", Health Minister Nikola Todorov said at the opening. Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski joined Todorov to welcome the international team of heart surgeons which will help support Macedonian surgeons working in the clinic. Todorov expressed his gratitude to the centers in Belgrade, Zagreb, Zurich and Rome which trained Macedonian doctors and helped construct the clinic. Macedonia largely relied on foreign clinics and on the privately operated Philip II hospital for heart surgeries in Skopje.

The new, publicly operated clinic will have two operating rooms and an intensive care unit for six patients. "The entire investment amounts to about MKD 140 million (EUR 2.3 million) that weer used to prepare the clinic and all the necessary equipment. This clinic will help respond to public health challenges, given that half of all death cases are due to heart disease", Minister Todorov added.

Initial trial work has begun using operating rooms in other clinics, with operations expected to begin in two to three weeks. Minister Todorov said that he expects the 50 employees at the clinic led by Prof. Sasko Jovev to perform about 500 interventions annually, including heart transplants.

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