• Milorad Stamenović Inventis CTC, Belgrade
Keywords: health cooperatives, ethnomedicine, public health


Health cooperatives represented a historic turning point in the organization of the health care system in the territory of Serbia. The idea of establishing such a subsystem for the provision of healthcare services came as early as 1901 through the work of agricultural cooperatives. The concept could not be realized immediately (although there was the will of all interest groups) due to the Balkan Wars, and later the First World War. The first health care cooperatives were inaugurated in 1921, and since then until the beginning of the Second World War, they have had great success in their work. Health cooperatives were prevented from funding during the Second World War, but were re-established in that form and continued to work until 1949. Different challenges were faced by the organizers of healthcare cooperatives, both in the establishment itself, as well as within the framework of finance, legislation, resistance provided by trade guilds, resistance of the medical chamber and pharmacy wholesalers. The study of ethnomedicine was advanced during the period of work of health cooperatives and was subsequently continued. The challenge was the bad public health picture that was found after the First World War. The need for additional research in the field of ethnomedicine speaks of numerous literature, as well as of the necessity of medical enlightenment of the population. The-se and other challenges are discussed in the paper, and what needs to be emphasized is the success that health cooperatives have had despite all the aggravating circumstances they faced. This work is of importance to medical historians, creators of modern health policy, public health experts, educational and professional institutions. The aim of this paper is to examine how health care cooperatives work and how to respond to organizational, financial and public health challenges. Of importance is the research of this area, which is rarely mentioned in the literature of the last  decades. One of the goals is also to consider the answers that health cooperatives had on these challenges and in the context of the development of the modern health system.


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How to Cite
Stamenović, M. (2019). CHALLENGES OF HEALTHCARE COOPERATIVES ON THERITORY OF SERBIA 1918-1949. Health Care, 48(2), 25-32.