6th International Congress of the WIAMH
Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 13 - 15, 1999.
DEVELOPMENT OF PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA – FROM INSTITUTIONS IN ASYLUM TO SOCIO-PSYCHIATRIC APPROACH
I. CERIĆ, O. SINANOVIĆ, S. LOGA, L. ORUČ
The history of modern psychiatric service in Bosnia and Herzegovina is rather short. The first psychiatric institution was established in 1894 in the former Vakufska Bolnica of Sarajevo, and in 1907 within the Zemaljska Bolnica, a newly constructed psychiatric department with 113 beds was set.
During the time between the two world wars, the number of beds for psychiatric patients had not increased and there were no significant improvements of psychiatric service. The psychiatric department of the General State Hospital Koševo in Sarajevo, remained as the only psychiatric institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina until 1948.
Since that time, the psychiatric service was under intensive development. Therefore, before the war the psychiatric service was organised following the below given principles.
According to the data from the Republic Institute for Health Protection Sarajevo, the state of the neuro-psychiatric services in BIH, on 31 December 1991 was as follows – the total number of neuro-psychiatrists was 2337, total number of physicians who were specialising for neuro-psychiatrists was 56, number of medical personnel with high education level was 100, the number of medical personnel with secondary education was 897, number of medical personnel with low education was 36, and the total number of beds was 2822.
The first months of the aggression on Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina lead to various disorders in all fields of life. The especially difficult repercussions of war activities and destruction were seen on psychiatric services – hospitals and patients. Psychiatric hospitals Jagomir and Domanovići were closed. Numerous patients – who had spent ten or more years in such institutions – were left to the streets with no support and control. Some of them disappeared, and some were wounded and killed.
Since the very beginning of the war, the worst situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was in Sarajevo – not only for the extremely difficult worsening of living conditions, wounding and killing of people, but also due to lack of food, water, electrical supplies and all other necessities for living. Since the very beginning and until the end of the war, the only psychiatric institution that was operational with no breaks, was the Psychiatric Clinic. The largest number of displaced psychiatric patients from the hospital in Jagomir was accommodated in the small space of this Clinic.
Having seen the situation at the very beginning of the war, all psychiatric personnel that was available, was distributed in district units and collective centres all over the city under siege.
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