- LuxDev's country office
- Kosovo Office
- Partner execution agency
- Ministry of Health (MoH)
- Implementation period
- 1 January 2016 - 31 December 2025
- Total duration
- 120 months
- Total budget
- 20,950,000 EUR
- Contribution breakdown
- Luxembourg Government
- Ministry of Health (MoH)
Since 2003, Luxembourg has been the main bilateral donor involved in the health sector in Kosovo. The “Support program for the health sector in Kosovo - Phase II builds on the achievements of projects YUG/005 “Reinforcement of the Prizren regional hospital” and KSV/014 “Support program to the health sector in Kosovo”.
It aims to support the implementation of health sector reform, the development of management capacities within the Ministry of Health and health facilities, and the creation of new financing mechanisms. Achieving the project's overall objective of improving the quality of health services contributes to sustainable improvement in the health of the population and equal access to the Kosovar health system.
While project KSV/014 supported the development of health sector reform and key sector laws, project KSV/017 focuses on organizational development, training, and support from the Ministry of Health to the implementation of the health reform.
The Health sector support programme (Phase II) is aligned with the health sector strategies 2014-2020 and 2020-2023 and with the ufollowing fundamental reform principles:
- redefinition of the role of the Ministry of Health as a regulatory body and reinforcement of stewardship as well as monitoring & evaluation;
- decentralisation of key functions and management responsibilities to health facilities and professional bodies;
- integration of health services to improve the quality of performance and ensure a better synergy with the private sector;
- application of the “learning by doing” approach, which is reflected in the design of the project.
The project mainly operates at two general hospitals: Prizren General Hospital of Prizren and General Hospital of Gjilan. It also supports the capacity building of the Ministry of Health at the central level and the capacity building of the partners like the Chamber of Physicians and the Hospital and University Clinical Services of Kosovo.
KOSOVO - Revolutionising patient careHow "morbidity and mortality conferences" are improving surgical practice in General Hospital Prizren
“We have what we need, if we use what we have.” - Edgar Cahn
The General Hospital "Prim. Dr. Daut Mustafa" in Prizren (GH Prizren) is making a mark in the Kosovar healthcare system with its bold and innovative approach to transforming its surgical department. Among the hospital's recent efforts is the introduction of morbidity and mortality conferences as a forum for discussing complicated cases and deaths and using lessons learned.
Morbidity and mortality conferences provide opportunities for health care professionals to share their experiences and foster a culture of open communication, learning, and accountability that are critical to promoting patient safety and quality of care. Through these conferences, healthcare professionals gain valuable insights into best h practices, current research, and emerging trends in healthcare, ultimately better equipping them to address the complex challenges in their work environments.
This is in line with the objectives of the Health sector support programme in Kosovo - Phase II, which aims to promote culture change among hospital staff in GH Gjilan and Prizren by supporting innovative thinking, taking global perspectives, capitalising on experiences, and learning from mistakes to improve service delivery and safety.
The first morbidity and mortality conference at GH Prizren proved to be an exceptional learning opportunity for healthcare professionals. Participants shared unique patient cases, discussed the latest treatment approaches, and engaged in stimulating debates on emerging medical topics. The event provided an ideal platform for interdisciplinary dialogue and allowed participants to learn from each other's experiences.
Following this successful event, GH Prizren is now planning to continue and organise regular quarterly morbidity and mortality conferences in different departments to benefit from the experience of the surgical department. This new approach to service delivery is a significant milestone in Kosovo's health sector and is expected to spread to other hospitals and health care providers in the country. The success of this transition at GH Prizren demonstrates that change is possible and that the health sector in Kosovo can continue to develop and improve through the introduction of innovative and collaborative practices. As the hospital continues to lead the way in this new approach to service delivery, patients can look forward to receiving the highest quality healthcare services in Kosovo.
The Health sector support programme in Kosovo - Phase II is co-funded by the Government of Kosovo and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and implemented by the Ministry of Health of Kosovo and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.
KOSOVO - Training for the maternity and neonatal units at two General Hospitals
Two major hospitals in Kosovo, the General Hospital Gjilan and the General Hospital Prizren, are taking important steps to improve healthcare services for new-borns and infants. The hospitals are the main providers of health care services for the newly born in their respective regions, including neonatal cases that require specialised care.
Although providing high-quality neonatal care can be challenging, especially when health professionals lack appropriate training and resources, significant progress has been made toward meeting EU standards through incremental improvements enabling health professionals to deliver the best possible care to their patients.
The Kosovo Doctors Chamber has partnered with the health sector support programme team through the Delegation Agreement for Funds and implementation (DAFI) to launch a programme aimed at equipping medical professionals in neonatal departments with the necessary skills and resources to provide high-quality care once the training needs have been identified.
The programme will be led by two experienced paediatricians and neonatologists from the two Clinical Hospital Centers Osijek and Zagreb and includes 32 participants. The main goal is to improve the knowledge, skills and abilities of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses and midwives working in the maternity and neonatal units of the two hospitals in Gjilan and Prizren.
During the seven-day programme, in addition to theoretical lectures and hands-on training exercises in both hospitals, an assessment and evaluation of the current state of neonatal care will be conducted. This assessment will help identify areas for improvement and enable trainers to tailor training to the specific needs of each hospital. The programme will cover various aspects of neonatology, including preventive care, neonatal resuscitation, respiratory support and treatment of respiratory distress syndrome.
Participants will be provided with comprehensive knowledge and practical skills to perform the procedures and operate with the equipment. Simulated scenarios to promote step-by-step learning and personal development will be presented. These scenarios also provide healthcare professionals with the opportunity to practice teamwork, coordination and communication among team members resulting in improved emergency response skills.
The anticipated success of the programme demonstrates the critical role that neonatology and paediatrics departments play in improving patient outcomes and shows the importance of collaboration across health systems. Given the specialised nature of neonatal care, the theoretical and practical training of medical staff in Kosovo neonatal units will make an important contribution to improving neonatal care and outcomes in the Kosovo health system.
The health sector support programme in Kosovo (Phase II) is co-funded by the Government of Kosovo and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and implemented by the Kosovo Ministry of Health and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.
KOSOVO - Inauguration of the surgery ward at the General Hospital of Prizren
The inpatient surgical ward of the General Hospital (GH) in Prizren was officially inaugurated by the Minister of Health, Dr Latifi and the Chargée d’affaires a.i of Luxembourg in Kosovo, Mrs Natacha Gomes. The newly renovated surgery ward will provide an opportunity for enhancing conditions and advancing the quality of care for the inhabitants of the Prizren region by ensuring high-quality services based on international standards. Currently, GH Prizren provides healthcare services for inhabitants of Dragash, Malisheva, Mamusha, Prizren, Rahovec, and Suhareka. In addition, it also serves as a healthcare provider for citizens from the region especially to the bordering city of Kukës in Albania and some villages from the border with North Macedonia.
The newly renovated and modernised surgical ward also boasts of new high-tech equipment including endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) equipment, abdomen ultrasound, colonoscope and gastroscope, patient monitors, bipolar electrocoagulator, operating theatre equipment, plasma sterilizer, etc. The infrastructural renovations, newly purchased equipment and standardised processes of the surgical ward will increase the access of patients to new and higher quality services, thus, reducing their referral to other levels of care within the country and abroad. It will also contribute to reduce the financial burdens for patients by providing free medical services in public hospitals.
As stated by the Minister of Health this investment marks an important moment for healthcare development and advancement, as “patients will be able to access better conditions and services to treat their health problems”.
The KSV/017 project is co-funded by the Government of Kosovo and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and implemented by the Kosovo Ministry of Health and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.
KOSOVO - Inauguration of three major infrastructural projects at the General Hospital Gjilan
September 9, 2022, marks the inauguration day of the renovated pulmonology ward, pathology laboratory and radiology department at the General Hospital of Gjilan (GH Gjilan), a longstanding partner of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, through LuxDev. GH Gjilan is being supported since 2017 to build and provide quality and safe services through different interventions at the individual, organizational and institutional level. This ceremony was attended by the head of missions of the Luxembourg Embassy in Kosovo, Mr Eric Dietz, the Minister of Health of the Republic of Kosovo, Dr Rifat Latifi, Resident Representative of LuxDev in Kosovo, Mrs Gulten Aka, and other distinguished figures of the Kosovo Hospital and University Clinical Services, as well as the Gjilan Municipality.
The new infrastructural interventions at the pulmonology ward, pathology laboratory and radiology rooms marked an important milestone in the development and advancement of health services in the region of Gjilan. The introduction of a new diagnostic services that will directly improve patient care and the health and well-being of the population, save more lives, and better protect citizens from financial hardship.
In a statement, Dr Arsim Emini, executive director of the GH Gjilan, expressed his gratitude to the Luxembourg taxpayers and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for the support provided to GH Gjilan and looks forward to the continued support. Despite the challenges, Dr Emini asserts that strengthening the hospital team and working together with international partners can improve quality of service provision and achieve international standards in healthcare. This comprehensive set of interventions contributes to sustainable development and the transformation of the healthcare system in the country.
The KSV/017 project is co-funded by the Government of Kosovo and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and implemented by the Kosovo Ministry of Health and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.
KOSOVO - State of the art hospital beds for General Hospitals
The KSV/017 project - Health Support Programme in Kosovo - Phase II aims to continue to support the General Hospitals in Prizren and Gjilan in their efforts to improve healthcare services. Along with the infrastructural work, the project will supply the surgery department in the Hospital of Prizren and the pulmonology department in the Hospital of Gjilan with a significant number of beds to be used in newly renovated premises as part of the project intervention.
The project provided 63 hospital beds, 31 for the pulmonology department and 32 for the surgery department. In addition to facilitating patient accommodation in the above-mentioned departments, the project anticipates that the provision of high-quality beds will not only help raise the quality level for the hospitals, but it will also play an important role in lowering adverse events such as falling out of beds, as well increase the chances for a speedy recovery.
The beds will be fully equipped and ready for patient use upon the inauguration of the renovated departments in the upcoming weeks. This is another milestone achieved by the project towards the improvement of the hospital premises, contributing toward increasing accessibility of quality services for the citizens as well as preparing the Hospital of Prizren to adhere to international standards for surgery service provision areas.
The KSV/017 project is co-funded by the Government of Kosovo and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and implemented by the Kosovo Ministry of Health and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.
KOSOVO - Alignment of project activities with the Ministry of Health for 2022
At the end of 2021, a workshop was organized by the “Health sector support programme – Phase II” in cooperation with the Ministry of Health (MoH) in order to align activities for 2022.
All this year long, the project will assist the MoH’s staff to strengthen their leadership capacities. How? Through different activities specifically oriented towards the legal and strategic management departments, with the purpose to build an adequate framework to support the separation of functions between providers and purchasers. On the MoH's side, a new health sector strategy will be created.
Also, the project will continue to support the “Strategic Management Department” by developing the internal regulations and policy documents. With a proper use of the “Division for Quality and Safety of healthcare services” within the respective department, the MoH will be able to develop new quality improvement tools that will increase the quality of service provision.
KOSOVO - General hospitals of Gjilan and Prizren perform the evaluation of their strategic plans 2017-2021
For the first time since the establishment of the general hospitals of Gjilan and Prizren, several decades ago, these were equipped with the necessary technical and financial assistance by the Health sector support programme in Kosovo (Phase II) project, KSV/017, for the drafting of Gjilan and Prizren general hospitals' strategic plans 2017-2021 and the implementation of the activities foreseen in the respective plans.
During this period, the strategic plans provided a framework for the management and staff to align their programme initiaves in the service planning process. In addition, the drafting process itself and the skills acquired over the years were very useful in guiding and preparing the hospitals’ staff in managing the pandemic more strategically, which subsequently led to the provision of better services and treatment of Covid-19 patients.
As the end of the 2021 approaches, the project in close collaboration with the staff of the hospitals, will perform an evaluation of the implementation of the strategy with a twofold purpose:
- to assess the extent to which the strategic objectives have been achieved; and
- to increase capacities for proper monitoring and evaluation of the strategic documents.
The outcomes of the evaluation and the lessons learnt will pave the way for the design of the new institutional development plans for the upcoming period 2022-2026.
The project KSV/017 was co-funded by the Government of Kosovo and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and implemented by the Kosovo Ministry of Health and LuxDev.
KOSOVO - Improving quality of healthcare services and finalising the elaboration of QMS tools
In its further efforts to improve quality of healthcare services, the project is committed to provide opportunities for the staff of different departments at the GH Gjilan and Prizren to continue their professional development that will contribute to the usage of newly procured equipment, quality of their practice and service delivery. To this end, the project as a part of the capacity development activities within Result 2 has assisted the hospitals on organizing training courses on usage of the ultrasound techniques of the carotid vessels, radiology examinations and pulmonary functions. Once completed, the participants will receive accredited certificates from the Kosovo Doctors’ Chamber.
The project also aims to embed a quality management system (QMS), while simultaneously considering the complexity of the healthcare sector and compatibility to Kosovo context, the project during this period has helped pave the way for the staff of the General Hospitals of Gjilan and Prizren in the elaboration of quality and safety tools (e.g. SOPs) with the ultimate objective being the quality improvement of healthcare services. As shown by many studies, the development and use of SOPs compose an integral part of a successful quality system and secure a common framework and uniformity in the provision of healthcare services, thus, improving efficiency and safety for the patients. As of now, the working groups from both hospitals in collaboration with the project team have drafted twenty-two written instruction documents.
KOSOVO - Quality improvement of healthcare services
The extension of the Health Sector Support Programme in Kosovo (Phase II), KSV/017, aims to continue the support given to the General Hospitals of Prizren and Gjilan by improving the Quality and Safety (Q&S) of service provision through:
- elaboration of Q&S tools; and
- provision of professional training, infrastructural works, and basic equipment for surgery and pulmonology departments.
Considering the importance of quality improvement of healthcare services and everyone’s role in ensuring that these services are safe, timely, patient-centred, effective, equitable and efficient, different working groups composed of doctors, nurses and technical staff have been established with a focus on improving processes, systems and clinical practices within the hospitals. The simultaneous and systematic work with the departments will result in streamlining and standardizing processes of both hospitals.
KOSOVO - 60 healthcare professionals trained
As part of the continuous support to the General Hospitals of Prizren and Gjilan, the project organized trainings for the staff of the respective hospitals on the following topics:
- Importance of intensive care
- Mechanical ventilation
- Emergency management at hospital level
In addition to the general information given throughout the presentations, special emphasis was put on patients with COVID-19, their treatment and lessons learnt during these difficult times. The audience was composed of interdisciplinary teams such as anesthesiologists, pulmonologists, infectious disease specialists and nurses from each department and in total 60 healthcare professionals were trained. The training proved to be very beneficial for both trainers and trainees, considering that the exchange of experiences from tertiary level to secondary level hospitals may help improve the performance of the latter ones.
Training on intensive care, mechanical ventilation and emergency management with special emphasis on COVID-19 situation
KOSOVO-Public services protecting from impoverishment
The General Hospital of Gjilan, being one of the main beneficiaries of the "Health Sector Support Programme in Kosovo (Phase II)", has worked on improving the quality of its services during the project course. The hospital got a Computed Tomography (CT) scanner, which was considered as a major benefit for the diagnostic services of the hospital.
The hospital has invested in the facilities hosting the scanner, in order to improve this service, meet international standards, improve quality and safety, and increase patient satisfaction. Around 1,000 CT scans have been performed, since the beginning of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the cancellation of elective services, meaning that the scanner has not yet reached its full operational capability.
Despite the pandemic, the overburdened hospital staff found time to work on activities improving the quality and safety of the General Hospital of Gjilan, in order to fulfil the Quality Improvement Plan.
The "Health Sector Support Programme in Kosovo (Phase II)", KSV/017, is funded by the Luxembourg Cooperation and implemented by LuxDev.
KOSOVO - Balancing between medical wellbeing and social welfare
After more than three months since the first registered case of COVID-19 in Kosovo, the whole health sector remains focused on dealing with the pandemic. The efforts to deal with the pandemic have become the top priority of the Ministry of Health and other relevant health institutions engagement in the Kosovo health sector. Kosovo, like all other countries has had to fight on two fronts: the public health side and the economic and social disruptions. Elaborating a Manual for the citizen on how to behave during the pandemic was thought to be useful in mitigating the consequences.
Kosovo has moved from a large scale lockdown of its economy and a quarantine method in many parts of the country, to a scaled opening up of its economy and public life. Accordingly, the MoH has calibrated the Manual for the prevention and combating COVID-19, in order for the opening up not to escalate into an overwhelming number of new infections.
Through this Manual, the MoH has described very specific measures to be used in sectors and buildings like: healthcare provision, public events, education, sports, shopping malls and other public locations. It also has specified under which conditions specific activities are allowed. The Manual is published online and on paper in three languages: Albanian, Serbian, and English, to make it accessible to everybody.
The Manual was supported by the Health Sector Support Programme in Kosovo (Phase II), KSV/017, in order to help the MoH in fulfilling its duties related to the pandemic, and in playing its role as the steward of health sector in Kosovo. During this period, the project team worked tirelessly to support the MOH and healthcare institutions, in facing this worldwide challenge.
KSV/017 is funded by the Luxembourg development cooperation and implemented by LuxDev.
KOSOVO - The ball of change keeps rolling
The Gjilan General Hospital (GGH), being one of the six public general hospitals of Kosovo, somehow sidelined by the healthcare system throughout the years, was one of the two General Hospitals (GHs) chosen for receiving support from the Health Sector Support Programme in Kosovo (Phase II), KSV/017 project. The beginning had its challenges, as there was resistance to change and new initiatives. It has been a while since working in a different manner and in a different setting was possible. But frequent workshops, trainings and introduction of new tools, as well as the purchase of the new equipment, seem to have accelerated development. Now support is coming in many spheres of their work, including: renovation, equipment and professional training.
After having renovated the new space for the CT scanner, the latter was installed, fostering the enthusiasm of healthcare workers in Gjilan. The CT scanner boasts 128 slices, the existing one being an outdated two-slice scanner. It’s the CT in the public sector with the highest performance. Beside the scanner, the Project provided the hospital with a whole set of new equipment.
Through the partnership agreement with the Murska Sobota hospital from Slovenia, two nurses provided a one-week training in Gjilan for the Surgery Department nurses, with practical and very useful lessons, including on-the-job training. The nurses from Prizren Regional Hospital also participated, creating a space for proper professional exchange with local, as well as international experience.
Through the GGH efforts to implement its five-year strategic plan, developed with the support of the KSV/017 project, the hospital has managed to involve other stakeholders. The Kosovo Hospital and University Clinical Service (KHUCS) has invested in the hospital, with a complete renovation of the Emergency Service, including new equipment, which has completely revamped this hospital service. Moreover, the outpatient clinics have also been completely renovated and reorganised, giving a completely new feel to this very important part of healthcare service provision in GGH.
The year ended with an end-of-year presentation followed by a reception at the hospital, with the management of the hospital presenting the results, and promoting the change initiated. The spark of change could be felt, as the conversations during the reception reflected another vibe for the years to come. The health professionals reflected on a successful year, with change accelerating, touching upon different key aspects of the hospital’s duties.
KOSOVO - Public hospitals network set to work with internationally recognized quality standards
Kosovo hospitals continue having weak reputation due to their inability to deliver quality healthcare services to population. The reform initiated in 2011 aimed to improve the quality, adequacy and efficiency of healthcare services. The redesign of the organizational structure of healthcare institutions, including the establishment of the Kosovo Hospital and University Clinical Services (KHUCS) was one of the major pillars of the healthcare reform. KHUCS was designed as a unitary health institution composed of all secondary and tertiary healthcare institutions aiming to contribute to the integration and improvement of the quality of healthcare services.
During 2018 and 2019, the project team led by the Chief Technical Adviser, key international and national experts, supported both General Hospitals (GH) of Prizren and Gjilan in initiating improvement of the healthcare quality activities, which are integral part of KHUCS. In GH Gjilan, the team worked with the staff of internal medicine department, while in GH in Prizren with the surgery department. Gjilan Hospital was supported to develop standards of operation and patient information sheets for stroke, heart insufficiency and COPD while Prizren Hospital produced standards of operations and patient information sheets for appendectomy, cholecystectomy and abdominal hernia repair.
The standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by health care institutions to help its staff to carry out complex routine procedures, while Patient Information Sheet (PIS) provides sufficient information for the patients for their health problems. SOPs and PISs aim to achieve efficiency, quality output and uniformity of performance, while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with professional standards. SOPs help to bridge the gap between evidence-based medicine, clinical practice guidelines, and the local realities at the point-of-care. They are necessary to remind clinicians of the need for medical evaluations and to monitor medication compliance. The use of SOPs has the added advantages, such are:
- Utilizing an optimized process for care;
- Implementation of best evidence-based medicine;
- Improved continuing medical education;
- Improved induction of new hospital staff;
- Integrated quality control;
- Transparency; and
- Enhanced protection from malpractice.
These achievements drawn interest by the leadership of KHUCS. Above mentioned quality standards gain application among all seven units of their public hospitals network. This may be first real step, toward longer term goal of international accreditation.
On 4th of July 2019, the board of KHUCS with an official decree approved six Standards of Operation (SOP), Patient Information Sheets (PIS), and informed consent sheet for clinical conditions of Appendicitis, Cholecystectomy, Hernia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Stroke and Heart Attack. This means that all public hospitals of Kosovo that are part of KHUCS network will be aiming to perform these procedures at international level standards. This is major progress considering that the use of clinical guidelines and a protocols for preventing, diagnosing, treating, and managing selected conditions was not enforced by legislation, and their use was left to individual initiative of medical staff.
This decision marks a peak of achievement for the General Hospital of Gjilan and Prizren, hospitals that have been supported through the “Health support Programme in Kosovo - KSV/017”.
When all these SOPs will be in place, the quality of patient care in Kosovo public hospitals will substantially improve. Hence approval of the first set of SOPs by KHUCS and their extension of implementation in Kosovo hospitals is a major step forward in improving the quality of care. This first step provides momentum to further development and extension of these quality assurance measures in other departments and clinical units of public hospitals in Kosovo.
Kosovo - Luxembourg Aid contributed to a success story for Doctors Chamber
In the course of the reform process of the healthcare system in Kosovo, a number institutions were established, in order to establish a modern healthcare system. One of the main institutions established in 2011 was the Doctors’ Chamber (DC) of Kosovo, one of five Professional Medical Chambers, an independent organisation of doctors.
From 2011 to 2013, the project “Health Support in Kosovo – KSV/014” (predecessor of the KSV/017 Project) provided extensive support to the elaboration of the Law on Professional Medical Chambers which was adopted by the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo on 30 May 2013. The Assembly elections were organised immediately afterwards, in which the first mandate of Doctors Chamber of Kosovo was voted and the first president was elected. Project KSV/014 supported the organization of the first elections and provided technical assistance in establishing the main bodies of the newly established organisation.
In December 2017 the second election was organized and a new Chamber president and Assembly members were elected. The election process was again supported by KSV/017.
KSV/017 continued to provide technical assistance to the DC in order to facilitate the newly elected management to successfully carry out its core functions. The registration and membership of doctors (one of its core competencies) was successfully carried out. Today, the Chamber has a membership of more than 4000 registered doctors.
Following the successful registration process, in February 2018, the Ministry of Health transferred the first public competencies to the Doctors’ Chamber and the Ethical Code supervision, which resulted in the full official functionalisation of the Chamber. Moreover, in April 2018 two additional competencies were transferred to the Chamber, namely licensing and re-licensing, as well as Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Hence, the DC issued 996 licenses for new specialists, doctors, and renewed licenses that had expired, fully implementing its role as foreseen in its statutes. The Chamber has become a fully functional and financially independent professional organization and since then has actively represented the interests of doctors for the benefit of both patients and doctors.
On 10 November 2018, the General Assembly of the Standing Committee of European Doctors approved the membership of the Kosovo Doctors’ Chamber as an Observer Member. This achievement was very welcome by the medical community in Kosovo, this membership was highly regarded, as Kosovar doctors would have an opportunity to exchange concerns and experiences with the highest level of medical representation at the EU level.
The priority of the Kosovo Doctors’ Chamber now is working on the process of transferring the last remaining responsibility, competency for Specialty Training, in close cooperation with Ministry of Health. KSV/017 supports the DC with continuous technical assistance and will provide a building for the Professional Medical Chambers in order to help improve their independence and financial sustainability.
The Kosovo Doctors’ Chamber is dedicated to ensure an annual programme of Continuing Medical Education to its members and also making sure that necessary points for licensing are collected and offered by this medical organization.
KOSOVO - Let's go further !
There has been a long and successful cooperation between Luxembourg and Kosovo in the Health Sector. LuxDev has participated in the implementation of health sector projects YUG/005, KSV/014 and KSV/017 since 2004. Therefore the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Republic of Kosovo submitted to the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MFEA) a request for further support of the healthcare reform implementation.
Luxembourg granted an additional 7 000 000 EUR to the endeavour, bringing the total contribution of Luxembourg to project KSV/017 “Health Support Programme in Kosovo, Phase 2” to 13 000 000 EUR and mandated LuxDev to formulate the project extension. The project will now be extended until the end of December 2022.
The first part of the extended Project KSV/017 will focus on supporting the implementation of the healthcare reform agenda, especially the Health Sector Strategy (HSS2021), which has the following objectives: reforming leadership, management and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), separating the political and operational aspects of providing healthcare, integrating service delivery and introducing a Health Insurance Fund (HIF).
The project will mainly focus on continuation and consolidation of the capacity development activities at the MoH and other healthcare institutions, such as the Kosovo Hospital and University Clinic Services (KHUCS) including the University Clinical Centre of Kosovo (UCCK), the General Hospital of Prizren (GH PZ) and Gjilan (GH GN), the Medical Professional Chambers (MPC) and the Family Medicine (FM) training programme. Activities will include provision of technical assistance (TA) to the MoH, assistance with the implementation of the Strategic Plans of GH PZ and GH GN, TA and infrastructural support for the Medical Professional Chambers (PMC), as well as TA for the FM training programme.
The Project’s continued aim is to strengthen the health system by focusing on improving quality of care, access to healthcare and increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of service provision.
KOSOVO - Health Institutions present their 2018 results
On 13 December 2018, Project KSV/017 supported the Kosovo Hospital University Clinical Service (KHUCS) in organising an end-of-year event, aimed at presenting the progress of Kosovo Health Institutions during 2018, especially the General Hospitals of Prizren and Gjilan which are supported by the Project. The Minister of Health, Uran Ismajli, the Director General of KHUCS, Dr. Basri Sejdi, the Director of the General Hospital of Gjilan, Dr. Nisret Hajrullahu, and the director of the General Hospital of Prizren, Prof. Dr. Afrim Avdaj, presented the achievements of their respective institutions.
Minister Ismaili indicated that when priority is given to the healthcare investment, the health workers will be motivated to restore the dignity of the hospitals. The aim of these investments in the healthcare system is that the patients perceive public medical institutions as a place where adequate healthcare services are provided.
He further said that there has been a degradation of the health system for a long time, especially in institutional care, which has led to patients’ suffering and dissatisfaction.
The lack of motivation of the medical staff and the lack of medical equipment’s is limiting the potential of doctors to perform their job properly. “Today, we have started with big investments, we are increasing the budget from year to year and we are also urged to see to the increase of salaries of health workers" added Ismaili
The Minister called 2018 an intensive and successful year, stating that public health institutions were more committed to their work and the patients were able to access more quality services.
He expressed the hope that 2019 would be an even more successful year, with more funds available, improved infrastructure, further modernisation and more advanced medical equipment. He also indicated the Ministry’s focus for 2019 will be the implementation of health insurance.
Dardan Parduzi, Head of Contracting Healthcare Services aat KHUCS, presented their results which included investments in new medical infrastructure and equipment that have contributed to improving working conditions for healthcare staff and benefitted patients.
The achievements presented by the Directors of the General Hospital of Prizren and Gjilan included: an increase of own source revenues, a decrease of utility expenses and the provision of new services. Both Directors confirmed the introduction of the following documents within hospital units aimed at the improvement of service provision:
Patient information sheet Standard operating procedures Informed consent form
Among the priorities for the future, the Director of Prizren General Hospital highlighted the construction of the Mother and Child Facility and the provision of Invasive Cardiology, as well as Oncology Services. He further stated the Government’s intention of turning the General Hospital of Prizren into the Second University Clinical Centre in Kosovo.
During the event, the working groups of the Prizren and Gjilan Hospitals also presented brochures that were developed to better inform patients of possible diseases:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Heart failure Ischemic stroke Hernia operation Cholecystectomy operation Appendicitis operation
KOSOVO - Supporting the hospital sector
During 2018, Project KSV/017 supported the General Hospitals of Gjilan and Prizren in introducing quality improvement tools in selected departments. A series of workshops with the clinical and administrative staff of the hospitals introduced them to the basic principles of quality management and enabled them to apply what they learned. There were two main directions of work. The first was the development of standards of operations and related documents for the most common clinical procedures in selected departments of both hospitals. Gjilan Hospital developed the material for stroke, heart insufficiency and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Prizren Hospital addressed appendectomy, cholecystectomy and abdominal hernia repair. The second direction involved working groups engaged in the development of regulations that defined the structural aspects of quality standards for each hospital.
With the assistance of KSV/017, the Gjilan Hospital team produced following documents:
Scope of services for internal medicine department; Medical equipment policy; Assessment of patient condition; Nursing plan; Discharge planning process; Medical history; Physical examination.
Prizren Hospital team developed following documents:
Scope of services for the surgery department; Medical equipment policy; Operating room register and equipment checklist; Anesthesia procedures; Regulation of sterilization and disinfection.
It was an intensive process of learning, information sharing and brainstorming. Normally, the technical team of KSV/017 would work with individual hospital teams until the products were in their advanced form. This time, however, the use of shared workshops enabled both hospitals to learn from and exchange with each other. This provided an opportunity for reviewing and fine tuning all products being developed, including the standards of operation and the regulations that defined quality standards.
At the beginning, Project support was primarily focused on the development of the staff’s capacities in both hospitals. The first improvements and changes of practices are now visible. Tens of staff in both hospitals have benefited from the development of quality standards related to practice or to structural aspects of quality assurance. The level of their participation and individual contribution to the development of each quality instrument is a testimony to the impact of the project on their professional capacity. Staff from both hospitals have lead the efforts, reviewed the materials, came up with better ideas and worked collaboratively. At practice level, the signs of change are visible, with the alignment of care provision to new quality standards. Gjilian has implemented the systematic use of spirometry for diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The nurses are more prepared and better informed, providing better care and sharing more information with patients especially in the Coronary Department. In the Neurology Department there is now a clear drive to reshape the outlook of the facility.
In Prizren, medical staff has harmonised their procedures in surgical care. The amount of variation of practice among specialists in the performance of appendectomy, cholecystectomy and hernia repair has started to diminish as they follow the standards of operation. Both hospitals, after an initial quality standards assessment by the KSV/017 team, have generated ideas and discussed a course of actions that will address existing bottlenecks in the provision of healthcare in their respective hospitals. With a strong support of the Ministry of Health and Kosovo Hospital University Clinical Services (KHUCS), the Project will pursue the goal of supporting secondary healthcare institutions in the improvement of quality of healthcare provision. It’s hoped that the processes used and results obtained will serve as model for other secondary hospitals.
Kosovo - Signing ceremony of the “Cooperation Agreement” between General Hospital of Gjilan and General Hospital of Murska Sobota
Following the elaboration of the situation analysis, which produced results that provide recommendations to policy-makers on how to reinforce the management structures as well as to initiate implementation of hospital based quality management systems that will improve service provision, the process of drafting the Strategic Plan 2017-2021 of the General Hospital of Gjilan brought to the fore the need for the staff of the respective hospital to be part of a well-designed continuing professional development plan which will upgrade their knowledge in terms of management and clinical skills and will deliver benefits to the individuals, their profession and the overall public.
Taking into consideration that trainings are an important component of the project KSV/017, especially in enhancing the understanding of the healthcare reform and capacity building for the implementation of specific components of the reform, a delegation from Kosovo comprised of representatives of Ministry of Health, KHUCS, General Hospital of Gjilan and project KSV/017, held official meetings with representatives of General Hospital of Murska Sobota, in order to discuss the modalities between the hospitals and project KSV/017.
Therefore, on July 12, 2017 the General Hospital of Gjilan signed the “Cooperation Agreement” with the General Hospital of Murska Sobota. The cooperation agreement, which will serve as a platform for sharing best practices between the hospitals, focuses on enabling partner hospitals to benefit and grow through exchanging knowledge and offer an incentive to healthcare providers from the Gjilan hospital to expand the horizons of their respective specialties.
Upon signing of the cooperation agreement, Dr Agim Kryeziu, Acting General Director of GHGJ and Dr Bojan Korosec, General Director of GHMS, emphasized that the paramount importance of this cooperation agreement is the quality care for the patients, as well as the exchange of experiences between the two health institutions. In addition, Dr Afërdita Ademi – Osmani, the Chief Technical Adviser of project KSV/017, shared her experience with the working group of Gjilan hospital and stated that:
the collaboration with the hospital’s staff has been an extremely sincere and professional cooperation with a commitment for fundamental change.
Training programmes, which will be provided by representatives of the General Hospital of Murska Sobota, include clinical training for doctors and nurses in a supervised environment. In addition, there will be training modules on Quality Management System (QMS) and training on leadership and management.
The "Cooperation Agreement" signed on July 12, 2017 is part of the activities of the Strategic Plan of the General Hospital Gjilan 2017-2021 and is supported by the project "Health Support Programme in Kosovo - Phase II - KSV/017" funded by the Government of the Republic of Kosovo and the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
The training programmes started in December 2017.
Kosovo – Actions for Improving Health Care Quality and Service Performance
In the beginning of 2016, the second phase of the “Health Support Programme in Kosovo” (KSV/017) was launched, confirming the commitment of the Luxembourg Government as one of the most important donors in the Health Sector.
The most relevant achievements since the project commenced involve different areas of the healthcare system: International Accreditation of Family Medicine training programme, the development of the Integrated Health Information System (HIS), as well as the performance of the health services and the Ministry of Health itself (MoH).
Today Kosovo has the first Centre for Development of Family Medicine that is internationally accredited for providing specialised training in Family Medicine. That demonstrates the commitment of the MoH to continually raise the standard in service provision in Primary Heath Care. An accredited residency programme promotes quality improvement and provides the means to share best practices with other residency programmes in Kosovo and the region.
Furthermore, the HIS is being successfully implemented in 63 health facilities and over 1,300 doctors and nurses have been trained in using the provided hardware and software. This marks the first milestone for having a nationwide system. From the point of view of doctors and nurses, real-time health records enhance the quality of services they can provide to the public. In fact, one output of the HIS is a longitudinal electronic medical record which contains the entire medical history of a patient over the course of life. In general, better access to data represents an overall valuable result.
Related to the improvement of service provision, a situation analysis at the Kosovo Hospital and University Clinical Service (KHUCS) is being implemented, aiming to support the MoH to assess the performance status of the whole KHUCS, with special emphasis on the general hospitals of Gjilan and Prizren. This will contribute to designing activities that will ensure a more patient-centred service provision.
Finally, the project is providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Health in building capacities, by supporting different trainings and coaching activities, mainly related to the establishment of its strategic management capacities, foremost the process of setting a monitoring and evaluation system in the sector.
A step towards the establishment of a Monitoring System for Kosovo Healthcare
Since the previous phase of “Health Support Program in Kosovo – KSV014”, the Monitoring & Evaluation Division (M&E Division) of Ministry of Health has been supported on regular basis. Technical assistance offered to the Division includes trainings on instruments for capacity building. Therefore last month, as part of activities within the “Health Support Program – Phase II - KSV/017”, the M&E training was organized. The training targeted the core of the Healthcare Institutions in Kosovo and contributed to the establishment of a monitoring system in the sector.
Setting up an M&E system for monitoring the implementation of the “Health Sector Strategy 2016-2020”is a challenge which demands the involvement of all Healthcare Institutions.
Through implementation of a Monitoring & Evaluation system, the MoH will be able to better observe the progress, stagnation or failures in the healthcare system. A functional M&E system, will facilitate the role of the MoH as policymaker and regulator of the sector. With this in mind a 5 days training on M&E has been provided by KSV/017.
Participants included staff and decision-makers from the different institutions, like directors and staff from different departments of the Ministry of Health and Kosovo Hospital and University Clinical Services (KHUCS), directors of hospitals and members of the health professional chambers.
Furthermore representatives from Accessible Quality Healthcare (AQH), a project supported by the Swiss Development Cooperation, were encouraged to participate in the LuxDev training and apply the M&E system in their project. Employing the same system would strengthen the harmonisation and coordination between donors and counterpart.
The training offered basic tools for Monitoring and Evaluation and focused on the Kosovo Health Sector Strategy 2016-2020. This document has been approved by the Ministry of Health and consists of objectives and results for the forthcoming years.
How to measure changes occurred in Healthcare as a consequence of the strategy’s implementation? During the M&E training, participants learned how to define the structure needed to monitor the sector as well as to collaborate with the M&E Division, as a leading actor in this process. At present, staff and directors of different institutions are open to respond to the changes demanded by the implementation of an M&E system
Kosovo - Promoting the Circular Economy through Private Waste Management Solutions
Despite the lack of a public recycling system in Kosovo, the presence of private companies committed to collecting separated waste creates opportunities to help protect the environment.
At present, the country is not yet equipped with a comprehensive and structured system for gathering and recycling waste. The public utility companies in charge of regular collection in municipalities transport the waste to large depots or landfills.
Nevertheless, some private companies operating in the country are dedicated to collecting materials such as plastic, paper and aluminium. They serve as centres for assembling waste, which is thereafter exported for processing and recycled.
Since December 2015, the LuxDev project’s premises and the Regional Office have been provided with the requisite infrastructure to practice waste separation. Through an “Eco-friend” subscription, a service project developed by the NGO Green Art Centre, a regular connection with these private companies is upheld and services guaranteed.
The aim of this activity is to reduce the environmental impacts and carbon footprint of LuxDev’s offices as well as raising awareness among LuxDev projects’ staff and its counterparts for recycling, environmental awareness and the circular economy. In this regard, the KSV/017 project has successfully implemented this system in its own offices and at the same time started discussions with the Ministry of Health (MoH), its main counterpart, to introduce a similar system for all its premises. The initial agreement has been reached with the Department of Administration and many enthusiasts have been identified among the MoH staff to help this initiative come to life .