Serbia: assessing health-system capacity to manage sudden large influxes of migrants (2015)



2015, vii + 27 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 5122 4

Recent large influxes of migrants into southern Serbia, from Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, have challenged the Serbian health system's capacity to respond rapidly and effectively. Nevertheless, Serbia is coping well with the migrant influx, which is likely to continue. At present, most migrants entering Serbia intend to travel on to European Union countries, and therefore remain in Serbia for only a few days. Serbia manages migrant processing humanely and efficiently. Only a minority of migrants enter asylum centres, where they receive medical examinations and any treatment needed. Serbia is vulnerable, however, to changes in entry and exit flows and to any increase in the number of migrants remaining in the country, whatever the reason. 

A joint assessment by the Ministry of Health of Serbia and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, made in June 2015 and supplemented by an expert field assessment mission in August 2015, indicated a need for contingency planning for the further development of both local and national health policies to respond to any future large influx of migrants.