Research Article

Diabetes services in Yugoslavia.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 24 September 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:894
  1. D W Beaven


    The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia lies in south east Europe between the Soviet block and the free enterprise countries of Western Europe. It was originally established as a confederation of independent Balkan states after the first world war; after the second world war it became an independent federation of the socialist republics of Bosnia, Herzegovnia, Montenegro, Croatia (including Dalmatia), Slovenia, and Serbia, together with the two small autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. In the subsequent 30 years the trend towards decentralised decision making and institutional self management has continued. Nevertheless, the federal authorities retain major control over economic decision making and policies. For example, they forbid anyone from owning more than two houses or 10 hectares of land, and no factory owner may employ more than 10 people. Capitalism in any other than this minor form is not allowed, and any businessman whose business expands must become involved in frustrating negotiations with the local government to set up a state industry. I recently visited Yugoslavia as a guest of the Institute for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases and of the medical faculty of the University of Zagreb and visited various health care units which provide services for diabetics in Croatia. As well as Zagreb itself I visited units in Split on the Adriatic coast and at Varazdin, near the Hungarian border. Necessarily my observations are based on the diabetes services in Croatia, but although the other republics may have less developed services they follow similar principles.