The European Union funded the reconstruction of the Pediatric Surgery Department at the Cantonal Hospital "Dr. Irfan Ljubijankić" in Bihać

(Bihać, 2 February 2024) - The Head of the European Union Delegation and Special Representative, Johann Sattler and the director of the Cantonal Hospital "Dr. Irfan Ljubijankić" Dr. Hajrudin Havić today officially opened the Pediatric Surgery Department, renovated with European Union funding. With the renovation of this Department, the conditions for improving the treatment of pediatric surgical conditions in the area of the Una-Sana Canton and the treatment of children in a modern hospital environment have been ensured. Thanks to the European Union, in the coming period, waiting lists for surgery will be shortened, the risk of infections will be reduced, and the health care of children will be raised to a higher level.

Otvaranje Odjela dječije hirurgije Bolnice u Bihaću  (4)

"I am glad to see firsthand the renovation of the Children's Surgery Department in the Bihac Cantonal Hospital, and meet the healthcare practitioners who work every day to care for children. The renovated department will have a real impact for the children of this Canton. It is one of a number of infrastructure interventions in the area of the Una-Sana Canton financed by the EU. I am proud that we are able to provide support for projects that are important for the city of Bihać and the entire Canton". said Ambassador Sattler.

The pediatric surgery department experienced a set-back in 2013 due to a hospital fire, and had to relocate six times during the reconstruction process. This project is especially important as it involves the largest healthcare institution in the USK region, serving the needs of residents in the canton with secondary and part-tertiary healthcare services. In addition to the substantial financial support from the European Union, which contributed more than 200,000 BAM in grants, the works were also co-financed by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Policy of the USK, and the Cantonal Hospital "Dr. Irfan Ljubijankić".

Otvaranje Odjela dječije hirurgije Bolnice u Bihaću  (5)

"Thanks to the European Union for its continuous support, nine months ago, the purchase of a cystoscope was successfully implemented in the department of pediatric surgery, which ensured the availability and treatment of the youngest patients in our institution, and today, with the financial support of the EU and the Government of the Una Sana Canton, we are opening reconstructed and adapted rooms in this department. Improving conditions for the treatment and stay of our youngest fellow citizens are our priority in future work and development", said the director of the Cantonal Hospital, "Dr. Irfan Ljubijankić" Dr. Hajrudin Havić.

Assistant Minister for Public Health in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Goran Čerkez, also spoke to those in attendance:

"The renovation of the Children's Surgery department at Bihać Cantonal Hospital is a significant step towards advancing the health system in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This noteworthy project holds particular importance as it focuses on improving pediatric health services, recognizing that investing in children not only benefits the present but also lays the foundation for future economic development in the country. This project is crucial in improving access to healthcare in Bihać, which is located far from other major health centers. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the International Organization for Migration, the Ministry of Health of Una-Sana Canton, and the European Union for their support in making this project a reality. This project highlights the significance of Bosnia and Herzegovina's journey towards joining the European Union," stated Dr. Čerkez, expressing his gratitude.

The event was also attended by Damir dr. Čirić, specialist of Children's Surgery and Head of the Department of Children's Surgery and Laura Lungarotti, Head of the IOM mission in BiH and coordinator for the Western Balkans.

„The IOM has proudly facilitated this reconstruction. This is part of wider efforts of supporting also those communities hosting migrants. Through the partnership with the EU, IOM has been able to provide support for crucial projects such as road reconstruction, school refurbishment, and healthcare improvements, including the provision of a new ambulance vehicle and necessary medical equipment and now reconstruction of children surgery ward. Considering the significant number of children among the migrant population, this renewed space will benefit both migrants and citizens of Bihac and of the Canton.“, said Laura Lungarotti, Chief of Mission of IOM in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Coordinator for the Western Balkans.

Otvaranje Odjela dječije hirurgije Bolnice u Bihaću  (2)


The reconstruction of the Pediatric Surgery Department at the Cantonal Hospital is one of the many infrastructure interventions in the Una-Sana Canton funded by the European Union and implemented by IOM. The goal of this assistance is to assist local communities as well as strengthen social cohesion between the local and migrant populations. 

Read the Press Statement in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian

For more information, please contact:

Edita Selimbegović,
IOM Communications Department,