As part of the project Return to New Normality in Kosovo “Strengthening sustainability through a safe and comprehensive return to normalcy in the fields of health and education, after COVID-19”, today was launched E-Health for Essential Health Services in the Municipality of Prishtina.
The project aims to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of essential services by providing e-health services that will enable virtual communication between users / patients and their GPs and provide counseling services where possible.
The Mayor of Prishtina, Shpend Ahmeti said that through this project unnecessary contacts between people and doctors will be avoided, and that consultations and advice can be done even without visiting the doctor.
Ahmeti: E-health will avoid unnecessary doctor-patient contacts
“What has happened in the last year is that life has changed as we know it, the office has apparently changed, the way it works has changed, the way schools look, the way children go to school, and it has definitely changed the way of contact. . Medical consultation, an idea that came to us together with donors, was the concept point that we mentioned in our E-government, but COVID accelerated this work and in terms that we are now much more dependent, I say from the ways of communication without contact and in this case we also have E-health or E-Health, and to avoid unnecessary contacts between the doctor and the patient. So, if a patient needs a consultation with the doctor and does not need to have physical contact or an appointment, the idea is to enable the patient to communicate with the doctor online “, said Ahmeti.
The Ambassador of Great Britain in Kosovo Nicholas Abbot said that he hopes that this project will facilitate the access of citizens to medical services, but also the work of doctors.
Abbot: This service will be provided to the residents of the Municipality of Prishtina
“It has been more than a year since the world began to face the biggest public health challenge, which is still going on. Even in Kosovo COVID-19 is continuing to leave serious consequences … and especially in health the pandemic has negatively affected the essential health services, there are many citizens affected by other diseases, have not encountered the opportunity to receive treatment proper. Therefore, this is exactly why we have joined forces with the United Nations team to help Kosovo in its fight against this deadly virus, as well as to empower Kosovo to face future health crises, where citizens will have access to health services despite the crises that may come. Today I have the pleasure through this project to deliver tablets to the family medicine center of the Municipality of Prishtina, to inform you about the new service, E-health, which is a new service offered for the first time to the residents of Prishtina . This service will enable that consultations with the doctor can be done virtually or over the phone. “We remain hopeful that this service will facilitate the access of citizens without distinction, as well as ease the burden on doctors, who are overloaded”, said Abbott.
United Nations Development Coordinator Urika Richardson said that there is a kind of injustice in the provision of health services in Kosovo. Where citizens are divided according to their status, wallet size, or amount of income. Through this project, she believes that this is a way to increase the involvement of the provision of essential health services.
Richardson: We owe better services to those who lost their lives to COVID-19
“The pandemic is a health crisis, but as such it has also produced serious social crises, many people living in poverty, or have other disadvantages. These strata, in addition to lack of access to medical services, have also lacked access to other social services. We are witnessing how COVID-19 is also causing an economic crisis. This has an impact on those who are discriminated against in society. With this help that we are donating today, we hope that essential health services will continue to be provided, both those related to COVID and those not related to it. We know that in Kosovo there is … if I may say so, a kind of injustice in the provision of health services. Universal health principles need to be strengthened in Kosovo, and we think this is a very small step in that direction, because access to medication should not depend on your status, the size of your wallet, or the amount of your income. We believe this is a way of increasing the involvement of the delivery of essential health services. Health is one of the things that needs to be strengthened in Kosovo. “I believe that we owe this to those who fell victim to COVID, we owe it to all those families who experienced all those tragedies, we owe it to the new generations,” she said.
Otherwise, the project is funded by the United Kingdom through its Embassy in Pristina, while implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in coordination with the United Nations Organization in Kosovo (UNKT), Ministry of Health (MoH), NIPHK and the Association of Kosovo Municipalities.
The health facilities run by the Municipality of Prishtina provide Essential Health Services to 214,688 residents of the Municipality of Prishtina through a network of Family Medicine Centers.
In 2019, the primary health care centers of the Municipality of Prishtina provided over 1.2 million services to residents of Prishtina and beyond. As the provision of essential health services in Pristina was negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, health service users and patients were advised to limit their use of the services due to the risk of infection and due to restrictive measures imposed by central and local authorities.