Universal – Ashes of solidarity

Nikola Todorov. / Photo: Free Press Archive

Now, when the building burned down, the Universal Hall was left with only the function of political bickering and mutual accusations. It will also be a miracle in three days and it will be forgotten.

Every new government charts the path it will follow based on the first decisions it takes immediately after its formation. It is the most important period because with the first decisions, a message is not only sent to the voters about the priorities, but it is also seen what the commitment of the new government will be to the citizens as the sovereign of the state. The first decisions and the first visits on the domestic and international level are the most important political moves of a government and a leader. They say that the day is known in the morning, so whether the new government will be good or bad largely depends on what its first decisions will be.
As I am fully convinced that the first decision of the new government must be related to the EU and the advancement of this European integration process of ours, in order to make Macedonia a far more decent place to live than it is now, so I wish as the former Minister of Health and Education , the second and third decisions, at the first government session, to be related to health and education.
In my previous column, I wrote about reforms and anti-reforms, to end with a Scandinavian proposal to create a joint state program in health and education, which would be passed in the Parliament supported by key political actors from the government and the opposition. However, I also emphasized that the party that wins gets the right in the next four years to realize the vision they presented to the voters before and during the elections. In the same column, I referred to three important projects in healthcare, and I also wrote a criticism of the non-construction of the FINKI building.

Reinstatement of the State Children's Cardiac Surgery

At the very first session, after the decision to advance the integration process in the EU, the new government should make a decision to continue the construction of the FINKI building, with a precise plan to put this important project into use for the students and professors of FINKI to get a new and representative facility as befits one of the best faculties in the country.
After more than half a century of waiting and hoping that it would be done, the children's state cardiac surgery functioned. From the beginning of its operation sometime in 2013, until the end of its operation in 2018, more than 200 cardiac surgical interventions have been performed in Children's Cardiac Surgery. Over 50 percent of the interventions were done entirely by a Macedonian team, under the supervision of American doctors who stayed here several times a year. In the past, children and babies in need of cardiac surgery were sent abroad, placing a financial and psychological burden on families. Today, unfortunately, there is no state, but only private pediatric cardiac surgery. It is true that it is free for patients, but it is also true that there was a state children's heart surgery in the Clinical Center in Skopje, but today it does not exist. For comparison, before that there were private adult cardiac surgery centers, but we dreamed of doing state cardiac surgery as well. Then in 2014 we made it and it works great, and the private ones didn't fail. Likewise with pediatric cardiac surgery. I'm not saying that the private sector should be destroyed, but the fault is something that worked successfully in the state healthcare system, but it doesn't exist today. That's why I suggest that among the first decisions of the new government is the resumption of state pediatric cardiac surgery within the Clinical Center in Skopje.
Among the first decisions of the new government, I would like to be the digitization of every segment of the administration, with the gradual introduction and application of artificial intelligence in the public sector. We have not made a name for ourselves with the reforms so far, so I expect that artificial intelligence will be the one through which we will finally succeed in completely transforming the administration. Artificial intelligence has a significant potential to transform public administration and improve the efficiency, accessibility and quality of services offered by the state to its citizens. But first we need to decide that the number of employees in the administration should be reduced, not remain the same or worse, increase.
Just as I wish the first decision of the new government to be related to the release of the EU integration process, I also expect the first visit of the new prime minister to be in Brussels or Washington, and the first visit in the region to one of the countries that are our allies. in NATO.

The product of world solidarity was burned

As I write this column and think about beautiful things, I understand that Universal Hall is on fire. It burned to the ground. Conscience burned with it, and shame came to light. Skopje experienced an unprecedented disaster, but we will rebuild Skopje with the help of our entire community, it will become a pride and a symbol of brotherhood and unity of Yugoslav and world solidarity. These were the words of Tito, according to which the Universal Hall was built, as part of world solidarity. With the incineration of Universal, the product of world solidarity and one of the monuments of the anti-reforms burned.
Universal became the ashes of solidarity. Universal, left to rot like that, was more the subject of political wrangling than an object to be built or reconstructed. Now that the building burned down, Universal only had the function of political bickering and mutual accusations. It will also be a miracle in three days and it will be forgotten. But when that too is forgotten, only the burnt contours of Universal will remain, to remind us how far back we went. Among the first decisions, the new government will have to make a decision to demolish the burned down Universalna building and build a completely new one, because irresponsibility and incompetence have today received their own new, disgustingly ugly monument.

Taken from Deutsche Welle

(The author is a politician and lawyer)



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