At independence in 1991, the country took over a
well-developed social and health care system. However, the
state's poor finances have eroded the system. Of 10,000
residents, there are 26 doctors (2010) and 45 hospital beds
(2011). Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of UEM and acronym for Macedonia.
At the end of the 14th century, Turkey began its invasion of
the Balkans. By 1371 it had conquered most of Macedonia, and
in 1389 it inflicted a decisive defeat on the Serbian Empire
in Kosova. The Ottomans acquired the best lands and created
a feudal system. The Christian peasants became subject to
the Muslim rulers for whom they had to pay taxes or were
displaced to less fertile areas.
In 1864, the Ottoman Empire divided Macedonia into 3
provinces: Saloniki, Monastir with part of Albania and
Kosova, which had belonged to ancient Serbia. In 1878,
Russia forced Turkey to establish the state of Bulgaria,
which also comprised most of Macedonia, but the other
European powers returned the area to the Ottomans. In the
following decades, Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece fought for
their right to Macedonia.
In the late 19th century, a strong nationalist movement
developed in Macedonia. The Slavic Macedonians founded in
1893 VMRO (Vatreshna Makedonska Revolutsionna Organizatsia)
with the slogan: «Macedonia for the Macedonians». Both
Bulgaria and Greece financed partisans in Macedonia, which
triggered the Greco-Turkish war in 1897. In return, the
Turks used the Serbs to balance VRMO and the Bulgarians.
The increase in the conspiracy among Bulgarians, Greeks,
Serbs and Macedonians led Russia and Austria-Hungary in 1903
to push for the appointment of a general inspector and a
reorganization of police in the area. Turkey accepted, but
in August, with the support of Bulgaria, a people rally took
place, which was severely beaten down. As part of the
subsequent repression, 105 Slavic Macedonian villages were
leveled with the earth.
The two Balkan wars in 1912 and 1913 dealt with the
distribution of the Turkish-Ottoman territories in the
region after the empire collapsed in 1908 in the wake of the
so-called young Turks' revolt. Bulgaria and Serbia signed a
mutual aid pact, which Greece and Montenegro also endorsed.
Russia supported the Balkan League based on its interest in
slowing the Austro-Hungarian Empire's push to the southeast.
After defeating Turkey during the first war, the Allies
mutually opposed each other. Bulgaria triggered the second
war and faced both Greece and Serbia at the same time.
Romania and Turkey now joined forces with Greece and Serbia
to defeat Bulgaria. With the Bucharest Treaty, Greece
acquired Saloniki and most of the Macedonian coastal areas,
while Serbia acquired the central and northern part of