State of Public Health at the Local Level in Serbia: Longitudinal Research (Stanje javnog zdravlja na lokalnom nivou u Srbiji: longitudinalno istraživanje

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The objective of this quantitative study was to examine the impact of selected factors on the level and state of public health in local self-government units in 2021, with the consideration of data from 2020 and 2019. This survey included 77 out of 145 local self-government units in the Republic of Serbia and examined six dimensions defined by the Law on Public Health: social care for the public health of the city/municipality in regard to the physical, mental, and social health of the population; health promotion and disease prevention; the environment and health; working environments and population health; the organization and functioning of the health system; and actions in emergency situations.
The results of the Pearson correlation showed that there were statistically significant correlations between the effectiveness of the realized program budget and microbiologically defective drinking water samples from the so-called village water supply systems, defective samples of drinking water from public taps, unsatisfactory analyses of wastewater samples, the total number of air samples on an annual level for PM25s, and the number of mandated fines issued.
The results of the logistic regression model showed that the local self-government units that received assistance from the Permanent Conference of Cities and Municipalities were 5.6 times more likely to perform analyses of their health status. Furthermore, we determined that the units of local self-governments that appointed a coordinator of the health council identified vulnerable groups in the analysis of the state of health four and a half times more often. In contrast, the units of local self-governments that prepared health status analyses could be used to identify vulnerable groups to a six times greater extent within the framework of the health status analysis.
The results showed that in improving the state of public health at the local level, it is necessary to provide systematic institutional support to cities and municipalities in exercising their responsibilities. Based on these results, recommendations were made for the further development of support, i.e., the planning of further activities aimed at strengthening the capacity of the health councils and local self-government units in this area.
Cvetković, V.M.; Tanasić, J.; Živković-Šulović, M.; Ćurić, N.; Milojević, S. State of Public Health at the Local Level in Serbia: Longitudinal Research. Preprints 2023, 2023010166 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202301.0166.v1).