Personal Views

How do you eat an elephant?

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7225.1652 (Published 18 December 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1652
  1. Tony Redmond, medical director
  1. University Hospital, Pristina, Kosovo

    There is little doubt that the hospital was damaged when the Serbs departed, but this was but a last parting shot at an institution that had been run down for years and particularly since 1990. It was about then that Milosovic redeployed Serb staff from Belgrade to replace local ethnic Albanian staff and the slide to the present situation really began.

    I was here myself in 1992. All the senior staff whom I met were Serbs and unhappy at their forced exile from Belgrade. They told me that the Albanians had walked out and set up their own parallel medical school. Those Albanian professors are now back, and while some jumped before they were pushed, and others left in protest at the failure of the Serbs to recognise the Albanian language, they certainly describe a grave injustice.


    Embedded Image

    The immediate crisis at Pristina hospital is easing

    (Credit: NIKOLAS GIAKOUMIDIS/AP PHOTO)

    When NATO arrived many Serbs left, but not all, and the hospital still had many Serb staff—particularly doctors. The mass return of Albanian staff …

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