Magazine article UN Chronicle

New Health Strategy Focuses on Primary Care. (Kosovo Journal)

Magazine article UN Chronicle

New Health Strategy Focuses on Primary Care. (Kosovo Journal)

Article excerpt

The cornerstone of Kosovo's new health care system is primary health care (PHC) based on family health teams, consisting of medicine doctors, nurses and other relevant health professionals working in family health centres and punctas (small outreach health centres). In prioritizing prevention, these teams would be capable of addressing and solving 80 to 90 per cent of common health problems. People will choose a single family physician as their personal family doctor.

This is the essence of the new health policy developed by the Department of Health and Social Welfare (DHSW). The strategy envisions less emphasis on in-bed patient treatment, downsizing hospital bed capacity but aiming to provide much higher quality service.

"A modern system should involve divided responsibilities and higher qualifications of nurses and other medical support staff", says Bengt Stalhandske, DHSW co-Director. "In general, health care systems, like the one in Kosovo, are very heavily dependent on doctors who often do the work, which in a more advanced system is done by nurses. As a result, the system loses efficiency--doctors become overloaded, nurses do secretarial jobs, although in other countries this is done by secretaries. We want to change that."

The location and size of PHC facilities will be determined by the number of people to be served by them. DHSW will support the rehabilitation and operation of only those PHC facilities that are on its facility master plan, and they will have to adhere to standard equipment and service lists issued by the Department.

Delivery services will be available in all hospitals and initially in selected family health centres. To increase the safety of mothers and babies, deliveries will be concentrated more and more in hospitals as their capacity increases. Emergency transport will initially ensure only basic life support, but the capacity will be increased as resources permit. …

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