Health care in Ohrid
Ohrid is the 8th largest city of Macedonia – it is referred to as the Balkan Jerusalem with the hundreds of churches, attracting tourists with the well preserved 18th century architecture and amazing views from the hills and the lake.
Besides the natural and historical heritage sites of Unesco, Ohrid has to a lot to offer when it comes to healthcare. The city has four clinics which provide healthcare for the population of the entire region and the guests of Ohrid. The Ohrid medical association is working with international organization and local authorities with the goal of meeting international standards of health care. The authorities in Ohrid have taken special measures to ensure all foreign citizens get the highest quality heath care services and hire translators to help the patients.
In first place we have to mention the Ohrid general hospital. It has some of the best equipment and well trained specialists in Macedonia – in 2013 the hospital had sent many of its physycians for additional training in Istanbul and Beograd. Two surgeons were sent to Beograd in Serbia for training in laparoscopic surgery; the surgery department has six new surgical suites. Breast cancer reconstructive surgery among other things.
Another department of the hospital which recently received new equipment and is working in cooperation with specialists in Beograd to train specialists is the Ophthalmology department. A new laser will be providing maximum protection of vision in patients with diabetes – this laser burns blood vessels in the back of the eye and thus protection from retinopathy leading to blindness. The hospital also has specialized departments of Geriatrics, Pediatric care, Neuropsychiatric diseases, Infectious diseases, Gynecology and Radiology.
The Tomograph which the hospital now has allows the most accurate diagnosis and currently is used to for over 300 cases a month – patients no longer have to travel to Skopje for diagnostics and there are no waiting lists anymore. However, radiotherapy for lung cancer would still require travel to Skopje.
One of the issues the Ohrid General hospital is experiencing is the lack of specialists – the surgery department is handling more patients than its capable, since it is taking care of emergency cases of people from the entire Republic of Macedonia and tourists from abroad. The solution for now is the temporary appointment of specialists from other hospitals in the region for the periods with more visitors in the town.
The other hospital of Ohrid which we should mention is St. Erazmo hospital of Orthopedic surgery and Traumatology. St, Erazmo is the macedonian transliteration of St. Erasmus. This is the only specialized hospital of traumatology and orthopedics in Macedonia. Healthcare in Macedonia started developing rapidly after the beginning of Socialism – new hospitals were founded all over the People’s Republic of Macedonia (part of Yugoslavia back then) and this was one of them.
Besides being the first а Hospital for treatment of bone-joint tuberculosis, St. Erazmo hospital is located at the coast of Ohrid lake, but as Macedonia started developing economically, throughout the years at St. Erazmo Hospital new specialties were adopted for the complete surgical treatment and rehabilitation of almost all diseases of the locomotory system. Today the hospital is treating thousands of patients from entire Macedonia and helping them recover.