By Capt. Vance White
with files from Lt. Tom Edwards
First published in
SFOR Informerr#127, November 28, 2001
Many people who hear the word "spa"
think of a place where wealthy people go to be pampered. Tucked
away in the hills on a winding road Northeast of Banja Luka is
the site of Slatina Spa, a different type of spa.
- The Slatina Hospital Annex, otherwise known as the Health Rehabilitation
Centre, is the location of a spring of mineral water known for
its remedial effects on many medical conditions. The purpose of
the spa is not to pamper the rich, but to provide a place where
people with different ailments or disabilities can go to receive
physical rehabilitation therapy.
Currently, the site is also home to another type of rehabilitation
- that is the rehabilitation of one of its buildings. The Canadian
International Development Agency (CIDA) approved the site as a
"partnership project" as it met the criteria of redeveloping
community infrastructure and supporting returnee families in the
region. The redevelopment of the spa is a joint effort with the
community and CIDA, who is providing funding. The spa also provides
specialised healthcare facilities to local citizens regardless
of their ethnic background.
must be referred by doctors, they cannot just pay for use of the
spa," said Dr. Durdica Stevanovic-Papic, the director of
Slatina Hospital Annex. "Doctors at the Annex re-assess referred
patients to confirm the medical requirement for the spa treatment
- certain diseases cannot be treated." In this way, the spa
is made available to those who have a specific medical need.
United Kingdom Battle Group project officer, Sgt. Mike Ryan, has
carried out SFOR's role of co-ordinating the project. Along with
CIDA's contribution of 34,548 KM, local (i.e. The Municipality
of Laktasi and Slatina Hospital) donors have contributed about
The impact of rehabilitating the building is significant. The
work funded by CIDA includes preparing and tiling the walls and
floor, installing lighting, connecting the clinic to the nearby
mineral water spring, plumbing and installing heating and electrical
fittings. The local municipality and hospital management funded
other work, including painting interiors and improving or replacing
doors, windows, internal fittings, furnishings and the external
the work nearing completion, Dr. Stevanovic-Papic expects 50 new
beds to be available in the refurbished building. The new building
will allow the hospital to extend their physiotherapy and electrotherapy
capabilities. It also brings with it a requirement to hire more
staff, adding to the 22 specialist doctors, 52 senior nurses,
44 physiotherapists, and many other staff that include teachers,
a social worker and laboratory, x-ray and prosthetic technicians.
The renovations bring an increased capability to the hospital.
CIDA has also approved an additional 35,000 KM towards the installation
of an independent boiler room for the newly renovated building.
Rehabilitation is a slow process, but for both the hospital and
the patients, the steps towards progress are getting easier.
Related links: CIMIC
Nations of SFOR: UK