IHS - Integrated Health Services in Kosovo, Phase I

The Integrated Health Services (IHS) project aims at improving the availability, quality and continuity of care for patients with non-communicable diseases by strengthening related clinical, managerial and governance processes in two General Hospitals. IHS enhances coordination and referral between primary and secondary levels of care, and at national level, it supports stakeholders to develop and implement a policy framework that fosters patient-centred integrated care.

Kosovo presents some of the worst health indicators in South Eastern Europe. Non-communicable diseases are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Yet, the country lacks a respective policy framework and adequate interventions at institution and population level. The poor quality of services across the public health sector remains a critical issue and it affects population trust in the system. Health services are not people-centred and currently there is little integration of services between primary, secondary and tertiary health care or between public and private sectors, jeopardizing many dimensions of care delivery and resulting in expenses for both users and the system. There is hardly any health education or health promotion activity ongoing in General Hospitals, nor is there any social accountability measure in place, as service users are not empowered to participate in the governance, implementation and monitoring of services.

Contribute to the development of a sustainable healthcare system that offers qualitative, affordable and integrated care to patients with non-communicable disease conditions.

Target groups
• IHS will be supporting health facilities in the region of Gjakova and Peja, which serve a population of 380,000 citizens. Focusing support in the General Hospitals of these regions, provides outreach to 29% of all hospital doctors in the country, 34% of all hospital nurses, 58% of the total Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian population and 25% of social assistance beneficiaries;
• Primary Health Care management and clinical staff in the targeted geographic regions;
• National level stakeholders: Ministry of Health; The Kosovo Hospitals University Clinical Service; The Chambers of Health Professionals and Nurses; The National Institute of Public Health;
• Communities through community-based organizations, civil society organizations, patients’ rights associations and mass media.

Expected results
• Self-management programmes for selected patients with hypertension and diabetes are developed and operationalized;
• A Quality Management system (aligned to EU standards) operationalized in selected General Hospitals;
• Clinical services for non-communicable diseases are improved through professional development and other capacity building mechanism;
• Functional primary – secondary referral system operationalized in the outpatients departments in selected General Hospitals;
• Non-communicable disease care pathways between selected General Hospitals and primary health care facilities operational;
• Health education for non-communicable diseases implemented in selected General Hospitals;
• Patients are able to engage in social accountability mechanisms;
• Policy framework to support patient-centred integrated care for non-communicable diseases in place.

Results from inception phase
This will be the first implementation phase of the project. In November 2021, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, selected via a tender process, launched the inception phase of IHS. The main aim of the inception phase was to design the project through an extensive consultation process with key stakeholders. The necessary studies, analysis and data-collection were conducted in order to detail thoroughly project approaches and interventions by consolidating the project document. On the basis of a very elaborate methodology and in coordination with national stakeholders, two General Hospitals were selected as partner facilities for the first phase of the project.

Involved Regions: Europe and Central Asia
Involved Countries: Kosovo


Jana Gerold

Project Facts

Collaborating Institutions

Internal Partners