- EC-135, aid for medical transport
“God forbid you not to get sick in Albania”
Medical service in Albania remains one of the biggest challenges for any government. This report is not intended to bring attention to the reasons why these challenges continue to be consistent every year, every day and every minute, because in this case the level of analysis should be extended in several dimensions and a single report would have almost impossible to emerge in some important conclusions. But it seems that the current minister of the government in power, is trying to make a step forward towards these challenges. On 25th March, the Ministry of Health gave news that the Albanian hospital services added a new helicopter for medical transport service. Immediately, the minister spoke saying: “Empower and modernize the capacity to implement the commitment of the Governing Programme for emergency medical service”.
Also, in this case was initiated the organization of a ceremony on the surroundings of this Unit, which coincided with the 20th anniversary of its creation (23/3/1995-Mediacl Fleet Transport Unit with Helicopter-NJTMH). “We are committed to raise a National Emergency Medical Service, which could provide fast and professional presence across the country, establishing the same standards in all reception centers responding to the variable needs during the seasons of the year to provide health care in morbidity and trauma”, – said among other things in his speech the minister.
There is no doubt that this is a good news for all those Albanian families who suffer on the hospital doors and hope that this helicopter does not turn into “discord apple”. That said, for a fundamental reason:
1-Will be implemented the principle of equality for those who will need urgent transport?
At the same time, this report goes further to discussion by asking: How much will extend this model, when whenever something new comes, the state holds a special event and Minister toast ?? The final approach must be taken, or are European country or we will continue to pursue these embarrassing models that make the country feel vulnerable and hopeless increasingly. Might be better that the costs of the event to welcome the helicopter, were used for the missing medicines in hospitals??
Meanwhile the Ministry of Health continues to showcase its work, Mr. Donald Lu, Ambassador of the United States of America in Albania, said: “God forbid you do not get sick in Albania”. This expression was related to the conditions of health centers which are insufficient to serve the people.
Unfortunately this confirmation was in the framework of the “Monitoring of Primary Health Care Services in Albania”, study result presentation, held on 10 March 2015, organized by the Ministry of Health regarding the situation in Health Centers in Albania, where in monitoring were around 550 Primary Care Health Centre (QSHKP). The Ministry, a day later announced the news on the official website of the Ministry, but not quoted in any moment the words of the Ambassador.
“The Minister needs to translate these numbers into concrete work for improvement,” said US Ambassador, Donald Lu, remarks that not reflected anywhere in the ministry statement. It seems that despite the negative words, the minister did not intend to take into account the advice of the international community, especially those who have invested and continue to invest in Albanian health, such as USAID.
- Another debt in the Albanian government “wallet”
Minister of Finance, Mr. Shkëlqim Cani has signed on 24th March, the loan agreement with the World Bank. The agreement provides the necessary funding for Enhancement Project Health System in Albania, through a loan in the amount of 32.1 million Euros. The project will co-financed from the Albanian Government in value of 4 million Euros, which will serve to finance to the extent of 37%, physical rehabilitation works and improvement of hospital infrastructure and contribute to the payment of tax liabilities related to project.
Improvement Project Health System contributes to: (i) empower the management and governance in public hospitals; (ii) improving the way health financing; (iii) implementation of information systems to improve efficiency and quality of health care in Albania
The loan granted by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), has the following terms:
- Amount: 32,100,000 Euro
- Front-end fee, at 0.25% of the loan amount
- Commitment Fee: at 0.25% per annum on the balance of the loan unwithdrawn
- Maturity: 22.5 years, of which 7 years without payment of principal
- Interest: Reference Rate (EURIBOR 6 months) plus Margin Unchanged (1%)
The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Health and will be completed by 28th February 2021.
It should be underlined that the Ministry of Health has not published any concrete preliminary plan how to allocate these revenues. Moreover, there has not realized even a previous study, at least has not publish any kind of it, to see which health sectors need urgent intervention. News of the Minister of Finance, should not be interpreted with positive tone until this debt is counted as another debt in the Albanian government portfolio.