Albania and her unfair healthcare: our complaint

Albanian media often treat extensively about medical malpractice and bad practice of medicine, as in these days for the case of 35 year-old woman died after being left at the mercy of doctors and inadequate sanitary facilities.

The Albanian health service does not allow citizens to be satisfied neither of public health nor of the private one, which does not even has the obligation to report regularly their clinical activities. In whatever state monitoring facilities are non-existent or malfunctioning.

Although in recent years cases of child and maternal mortality have fallen significantly due to the general development of the country, but does not miss the hospital degradation and Albania continues to have one of the highest incidences of infant and neonatal mortality and in Europe.

The Albanian Ministry of Health has also identified, in accordance with international institutions, some strategic priorities for strengthening the health system in Albania which, today, ranks last among 43 European countries for credit given to sector health; just think that in the years 2012-2015 the funds allocated by the government in Tirana were equal to 2.8 % of national GDP compared with a European average of the 6%.

Because of the lack of investment, albanian doctors and nurses often do not know the new techniques and developments in the field of medicine and, consequently, the Albanian health system is finding difficult to relate to other European countries. And if we take into account the distrubution of the medical centers on the territory, we would notice that there is a inequality in access to medical services; eg obstetrics in rural areas is particularly lacking.

Albania has 51 hospitals, including several specialized hospitals, a military hospital and a government hospital, but shortage of beds for patients both long and short term. Despite this background, the rate of hospitalizations in Albania is much lower than other countries in Europe. The reason is to be found among the poorest of the country that often avoid hospitalization because they can not deal with the rampant corruption, the “under the table” payments required by medical and staff. But even moderately hygienic environment discourages and the patient goes to the hospital only in an emergency, when the disease is already advanced: the result is that Albanians have a lower life expectancy than most Europeans.

It is therefore clear why many of us do not have trust in the person of the doctor.

Any form of state insurance also does not cover the costs of private clinics, which, consequently, are not accessible to the poorest people.

Finally, we are aware that the development beyond measure of the Albanian private healthcare has been achieved at the expense of the public health. Fact that not only cause outrage but also anger towards those institutions that should ward us, and they do not, and the most important thing we have: health. Is obvious the lack of legislation and the inadequacy of existing legislation; we citizens urgently need a new basic law, and the adaptation or the improvement of all the provisions that have been implemented, based on EU criteria.


Erand Haruni