The director of N.Mitrovica Hospital Center warns that the situation in this institution is alarming, requests the postponement of the CBK regulation

Zlatan ELek KBC Kosovska Mitrovica konferencija o uredbi CBK o dinaru

More than a month has passed since the new CBK regulation came into force, which essentially bans the use of the Serbian dinar in Kosovo and the import of cash money from Serbia proper for the payment of wages, pensions, and other benefits. The situation in the North Mitrovica Hospital Center is alarming, Zlatan Elek, director of this institution, said at a press conference today. Elek sent a request for the implementation of the regulation to be postponed until „a compromise solution to mutual satisfaction is found.“ He called on the West to „influence Kurti“, expressing hope that „reason will prevail“. On the other hand, he revealed that he is “encouraged” by the Serbian president’s statements.

Elek held a press conference at the North Mitrovica Hospital Center to address the regulation of the Central Bank of Kosovo, that is, as it was announced, the negative impact of this decision on the work of the hospital.

A technical error may have occurred, we do not play favorites, you are always welcome

The KoSSev portal was not invited to today’s press conference.

When asked about the lack of invitation, the director of the Hospital Center and Srpska Lista chief, Zlatan Elek, said that „a technical error may have occurred.“ He added that he would instruct his personal assistant to send us an invitation for any future conferences.

„You are always welcome to any press conference, I have never excluded you, these are professional topics, so I see no reason to do so. Maybe there was a technical error, we don’t play favorites when it comes to the media. Everyone has the right,“ Elek said to a journalist from KoSSev portal.

Alarming situation

Elek stated that North Mitrovica Hospital Center operation has been „in a weak position“.

„Even before the adoption of the regulation, things were not so good, but now the situation is truly alarming,“ he said.

He underscored that the hospital employees, about 1,700 of them, who received their wages at the beginning of the month were unable to fully withdraw the full amount, adding that they could only do so in the territory of Serbia proper.

On the other hand, he reminded of the queues in front of the Poštanska Štedionica Bank – the only bank where hospital employees can make cash withdrawals in Kosovo, but not more than 10,000 dinars per day.

Food for the patients is running out

The second most vulnerable category is the hospital patients.

„The food for the patients is slowly running out. This hospital has a capacity of 563 beds, and at almost every moment, 2/3 of them are taken,“ said Elek.

He explains that Hospital Center is supplied with food by suppliers from „these areas“, and that the institution is obliged to pay for the service in dinars.

„We are being obstructed in two ways. The first – there is some kind of ban that we have not seen in written form, and that is the ban on the import of food from Serbia. Our suppliers are not able to procure the food prescribed by the tender documents. In another way, we are obstructed by the fact that we cannot pay for this food in dinars to our suppliers,“ said Elek.

He specified that the most vulnerable patients are diabetics, surgical patients, and cancer patients, due to their special diet.

„We will soon run out of fuel, debts for fuel oil are piling up“

The third problem, according to Elek, is the lack of oil derivatives.

„We will soon run out of fuel for ambulances if this continues. Our supplier is from North Mitrovica and we pay for fuel exclusively in dinars. If it continues like this… Debts are already piling up, because we cannot pay for adequate fuel,“ he said.

Elek adds that the fourth problem is related to heating.

„Fuel oil cannot reach us in sufficient quantities, and we will incur huge debts, as we are not able to pay our supplier, to pay him in dinars,“ he said.

The North Mitrovica Hospital Center is not in a position to pay repairmen for the maintenance of hospital equipment, elevators, electricians and plumbers.

„They are asking for compensation in dinars,“ adds Elek.

He also reminded that the reconstruction of the Hospital Center is underway.
„We are obliged, partly as investors, to pay companies that are also from this area in dinars,“ he explained.

Elek requests that the CBK regulation be „postponed“

The director of this hospital center warned that the problems are „slowly piling up“, and sent an appeal to „the international community and all political factors that can influence Pristina“ to postpone the enforcement of the regulation of the Central Bank of Kosovo.

When asked by the KoSSev portal journalist until when the decision should be postponed, that is, what he sees as a solution to the current situation, Elek did not give a precise answer.

„We hope that reason will prevail and that we will have an adequate solution, that is, a compromise solution to the satisfaction of both parties and primarily to the satisfaction of the Serbian community living in Kosovo.“

On the other hand, he announced talks with the Ministry of Health and the Government of Serbia.

He clarifies that the problems he listed indicate that the CBK regulation was adopted too hastily and that it does not benefit the Serbs.

„We are supporters of dialogue, a peaceful resolution of the decision, and not of this sudden unilateral decision-making aimed at escalating problems on the ground, which affects both health workers and ordinary people. A signal is being sent to the people to leave these areas because soon they will not even have their own currency,“ said Elek.

Encouraged by Vučić’s words, wonders what Kurti will do next

On the other hand, he says that he is encouraged by the statements of the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, that „there is enough money“.

„All payments from Serbia went completely regularly until the dinar was abolished… We are all asking the question of what Albin Kurti’s next step will be, to make life difficult for us in these areas,“ he adds.

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