Serbian Society of Radiotherapy Technicians - 10 years of professional improvement - PDF Version
The Serbian Society of Radiotherapy Technicians (SSRT) was founded in 2009 to fulfil a wish of radiation therapists (RTTs) from Serbia to improve the position of their profession in the health system. More precisely, SSRT started its work as a result of the implementation of the ‘train the trainer’ (TTT) programme that was set up by the European SocieTy for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). As a conclusion of the work that was completed during the first course of this programme in Serbia, the participant RTTs from radiotherapy centres in Serbia decided to establish an RTT association in Serbia. In November 2009, the Serbian Society of Radiotherapy Technicians was founded and registered.
During the following ten years, the SSRT carried out its work through educational events, developing cooperation with the institutions of the health system in order to improve the position of RTTs and more specifically to establish the name of the profession and to improve the education system in the field of radiotherapy. Within the educational activities, six courses and one congress were organised under the ESTRO / IAEA TTT programme, and separately there were three national congresses, seven national courses and three national symposia. Cooperation with colleagues from the region was established and developed, which resulted in the launch of the South East Europe Technology in Radiation Oncology (SEETRO) initiative in the form of a congress for RTTs from the region of Southeast Europe. The first SEETRO congress was held in 2013 in Belgrade and congresses have continued every two years since then.
The SSRT marked 10 years of work by holding the Third National Congress over the weekend of 1-3 November 2019 in Belgrade. Many colleagues from Serbia and guests from Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia attended. The first decade of work was completed with an emphasis on the moment of improvement of the radiotherapy system in Serbia.
In 2017 SSRT became a member of the ESTRO RTT Alliance. In the same year, the president of SSRT, Ilija Curic, became a member of the ESTRO RTT committee.
SSRT activities have significantly improved the position of RTTs in Serbia. In 2015, the first version of the National Guide for RTTs was published. In 2018, the Serbian commission for professional titles included the title of radiological technician in radiotherapy in the catalogue of recognised jobs, which gave importance to our profession. Since 2015, there has been a struggle to establish studies at masters level for RTTs. Due to the great efforts of the management of the SSRT and colleagues from the Department of Radiotherapy at the Institute of Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, which is the teaching base for RTTs, the effort paid off. The University of Belgrade in May 2020 decided to launch the masters programme of study in radiation therapy in the Faculty of Medicine. The two-year course will start from October 2020. From 2021 we expect the start of the curriculum that will offer a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in radiation therapy. This will be a three-year course and will also take place in the Faculty of Medicine at Belgrade University. In this way, the TTT programme in Serbia will be completed.
We planned to present all our work since our inception at a stand in the community pavilion of the ESTRO 2020 congress. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to abort this plan. We hope to take the opportunity next time. We are ready for the next challenge.
President of Serbian Society of Radiotherapy Technicians
ESTRO RTT committee member
SSRTT-10 session during third congress, November 2019
SSRT board members: Left to right, Jovan Stevanovic, Ilija Curic and Nikola Gavrilovic