Slovakia

Slovenská gerontologická a geriatrická spoločnosť

MU Dr. Eugen Gressner established the Gerontological section of Slovak Society of Internal Medicine in 1969. One year later (in1970), a rapid increase of the number of members enabled the establishment of an independent Slovak Gerontological Society (SGS) as a standing member of the SlovakMedical Society. The SGS immediately established international contacts and collaboration, especially with Czech Gerontological Society. Until the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993, both societies rotated the chairmanship of the Federal committee of gerontological society’s every2 years. Collaboration between both societies was vital in the progress of gerontology within both countries. 

In 1993, both societies became independent and the Slovak section took the name Slovak Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine Society (SGGS). In 1979, the Ministry of Health Care of the Slovak Republic promoted a new concept of geriatric medicine development. Subsequently clinics were established and departments of geriatric medicine, long-term care facilities, geriatric medicine outpatient departments, and a Research Institute of Gerontology were created. The SGGS is now an independent medical and social organization, member of the Slovak Medical Society and the IAGG.

Major functions of SGGS include:

  • Diffusion of new scientific knowledge and information from the sphere of gerontology and geriatric medicine to other medical experts, physicians, nurses and public
  • Teaching and scientific activities
  • Improvement of health care for old people in the Slovak republic
  • Participation in the WHO programme: “Health for all in the 21st Century: Healthy ageing”
  • Activities against any kind of discrimination of seniors in the society
  • International collaboration and membership of international organisations
  • Organizing national and international congresses and scientific meetings

Geriatric Medicine in Slovakia:

Geriatric Medicine has been a separate field of medical specialization in Slovakia since 1979. In 1983, the first four doctors gained specialist status in geriatric medicine. Since then, 154 doctors have become specialists in geriatric medicine and geriatric medicine is a recognised medical speciality. Training involves a common internal trunk lasting two years and four years of specialist education including training in a clinical geriatric department and a long-term care facility, an old people’s home, a department of rehabilitation and in other areas such as psychiatry, neurology and dermatology. 

Undergraduate medical students in Bratislava and Košice receive training in geriatric medicine. 

Lectures and training in geriatric medicine are given not only at universities but are an important component of education in the Faculty of Health Care and Social Work at University in Trnava and School of Nursing of Slovak Medical University in Bratislava.  In 2005, specialized geriatric medical care was available in 50 outpatients’ departments, and in 65 hospital departments with 2743 beds. Nineteen of them are hospital departments of geriatric medicine for acute patients (3 in university clinics) with 799 beds and 46 of them are long-term care facilities with 1944 beds. Prof. MUDr.Štefan Kraj?ík, the Chief Expert for geriatric medicine at the Ministry of Health Care of Slovak Republic coordinates this clinical net.

General practitioners provide primary health care whilst nursing home supervision rests in the hands of a network of care agencies.

Journal

The scientific journal of SGGS is “Geriatria”, which has been published since 1995.The journal publishes articles from the sphere of clinical and social gerontology. The journal is published four times a year in Slovak and Czech with English abstracts. The editorial of every volume is translated into English. The journal is peer-reviewed, ISSN 1335-1850. Founder of the journal and present Editor-in-chief is Prof.MUDr. Ladislav Hegyi, DrSc., his deputy is Doc. MUDr. Silvester Kr?méry, CSc.  According to a recent survey, the journal Geriatria is one of the most popular Slovak medical journals.

Scientific meetings and educational activities

The most important event is the annual national Slovak Geriatric Medicine Congress and “Gesner’s Geriatric Medicine Days”. 

Other congresses and scientific conferences are organized in various regions of Slovakia, usually once a year. A one-day conference – Bratislava-Brno working day - is organized in collaboration with the Czech Geriatric and Gerontológica Society. 

A one-day conference is also organized in collaboration with the Slovak Psychiatric Society every two years.