Home Care in the Media Spotlight

Home care—one of the most important services introduced with the support of the “Health for All” Project – was at the centre of media attention during the month of May.

The TV show Klinika 24 and the newspaper Shqiptarja.com covered the report by Report TV at the Bulgarec Health Centre in the Municipality of Korçë, where home care has been implemented since 2022, accompanied by an in-studio interview with the Project Manager, Dr. Besim Nuri.

Journalist Doreada Mio spoke with the director of the Bulgarec health centre, the home care coordinator, and closely followed a nurse during a scheduled home visit to a patient.

The HAP project has been a great support for us,” says coordinator Etleva Qyli. “We have always provided home care, but now, HAP has given it a new approach. Previously, we would go to the patient when a family member informed us something was wrong, but now we have a detailed work plan that is regularly updated according to the patient’s conditions and needs.”

Before, I had crises… I called the ambulance, which came from Tirana, and I paid 30,000 ALL,” says a 76-year-old patient suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. “Now the nurse comes once a week or once every ten days. When I had an injection course, she came twice a day at fixed times, and they are ready to come whenever I request. This eases our burden and warms our hearts,” he adds.

Etleva also explains that all nurses have improved professionally by being trained in advanced nursing procedures to better respond to these patients’ needs. Now, all these patients can receive services such as venous catheter administration, ear lavage, home EKGs, and more, which were not possible before and translated into transportation costs for families to take them to health centres or even hospitals for these services.

Director Entela Shtika explained that this service is offered to all individuals over 65 with chronic illnesses or elderly people who cannot come to the health centre. “The selection of patients is based on their functional problems, morbidity, and needs,” explained Director Shtika.

Home care has also brought changes within the health centre. “This is a service entirely based on nurses, and their role has been significantly empowered after the introduction of this service,” said the director.

Meanwhile, in the studio, invited to Klinika 24, the Health for All Project Manager, Dr. Besim Nuri, explained that this project has been working since 2015 to improve health centre services in the country. “In the last three years, we have directly supported 58 health centres and currently have 60 other centres that we will support,” said Dr. Besimi, adding, “Our entire package is support for around 120 centres, while the remaining centres will be handled by the Ministry of Health with its own means and resources.”

Equipping doctors and nurses with the necessary tools for home visits is another key point of service quality, continued Dr. Besimi, emphasizing that trained doctors and nurses have all been provided with personal bags containing the necessary medical devices for dignified service. “Just last year, around 9,000 home visits were conducted, and about 1,500 patients who are immobile were treated. We will soon conduct surveys to understand the real state of the service and whether the quality of life of the benefiting patients has improved,” added Dr. Besimi.

When asked about the challenges of offering home health care, Dr. Besimi mentioned the reorganization of work within the health centre and “financial resources,” adding that “you cannot offer a service without allocating additional financial resources for the nurses, so the Ministry of Health is seriously considering how to increase the budget.”

Dr. Besimi expressed optimism that this service model, due to the population’s needs, will be embraced by all health centres. “It requires a lot of work, and the staff definitely needs to be motivated,” emphasized Dr. Besimi in conclusion.

Home health care is currently offered in selected health centres in Tirana, Durrës, Elbasan, Korçë, Berat, Fier, Dibër, and Shkodër, while work has begun to extend this service to Kavajë, Mat, Bulqizë, Pogradec, Lezhë, and Kukës.