Albania has shown encouraging developments in recent years underlined by economic growth. At the same time the health sector is affected by a broad array of challenges, ranging from issues of health service financing, resource mobilization, health service management, as well as challenges regarding citizen’s participation, steering and governance of the sector. The country has a health system which is relatively wide-ranging but inefficient. Insufficient considerations are given to the demographic change and the raising burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes or hypertension. Citizens and patients namely in rural areas have limited access to Primary Health Care (PHC) services due to low quality of care, imperfect availability and financial costs, in some cases. Home-based care is under-developed while the role of nurse in dealing with NCDs is ill defined. These patterns are further aggravated by prevailing migration of health workers, from rural to urban areas as well as from Albania to Western Europe, leading to inadequate health service coverage and regional inequities in the health workforce distribution. Strengthening of management, planning and steering capacities at national, regional and local level for improved planning and oversight and are an acknowledged priority for moving towards a more efficient and sustainable health system.
The SDC funded Health for All Project is being implemented in Albania since 2015. The first phase, implemented by a consortium of three international organisations (Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute leading part, Terre des hommes and Save the Children) has been finalized in 31 March 2019.