Serbia's Health Ministry failed to pay the promised sum, helping reach the 2.5 million euros treatment of a toddler suffering from spinal muscle atrophy (SMA) type 1 in a Budapest hospital, the Nova.rs website reported on Thursday.
Last May, the Ministry promised to pay the missing 370,000 euros for then seven-month-old Gavrilo Djurdjevic. The rest was collected by donors in Serbia and abroad through the text messages sent to ‘Be Humane’ NGOs, bazaars, selling sports equipment and other ways of helping to reach the enormous sum.
However, Gavrilo’s family said they had not received the promised payment, adding the Ministry stopped taking calls and answering e-mails to both family and the hospitals.
„The first problem (with Serbia’s Ministry) was that they did not receive a bill from the hospital. When that was done, for some bureaucratic reasons, the estimate was not valid,“ Nevena Djurdjevic, Gavrilo’s mother, told Nova.rs.
„We learned from the media that they want to donate funds,“ she said.
The mother added she was later in contact with several people from the Ministry.
The family expected the payment from the Ministry would cover these costs, but it never happened.
Fortunately, people continued with donations, and the hospital was patients, so the whole amount was collected covering Gavrilo’s family had as additional costs – accommodation, rehabilitation, equipment.
The family now appealed to the Ministry to set aside the money they promised to Gavrilo for another toddler suffering from the same disease and still lacking funds for the treatment.